Dr. Jolene C. Hardy – A Bowhunting Doctor! Pt 2
Is there a doctor in the house? Maybe not, but there’s one in camp, and she’s a bow hunter! Yea, you heard right, we said she!
Dr. Jolene C. Hardy is the wife of PSE’s Pro Staffer Tracy Hardy. Jolene is a fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon specializing in Sports Medicine, at the University of Arizona. (For all you archers with sore shoulders. . .) Jolene has been exposed to archery for several years but recently got serious after she and Tracy married in June 2010. Shortly after they were married, Jolene left Tucson for Salt Lake City to complete her final year of training at the University of Utah, while Tracy held the fort down. During their separation, the two seized every opportunity to rendezvous…including a 10 day Mule deer hunt in Colorado. Jolene drove from Salt Lake to meet her husband in Rangely where Tracy had traveled with their RV.
Over the course of the next year, Jolene took her seat behind the wheel of her 4-wheel Drive F-150 (which she owned before they met!) to drive across the county to be with Tracy on hunting adventures. June of 2011 she drove to a remote corner on the North rim of the Grand Canyon where Tracy was helping fellow staffers, John May and Phil Dalrymple on an Arizona Bison hunt. September took her to the remote Gila wilderness in New Mexico where Tracy was hunting elk with Pete and Laura Shepley.
“I have always loved to camp, fish and hike. My dad says I’m a strong hiker,” revealed Jolene. “Tracy says he can’t out walk me. I just giggle, but I’m glad they think that of me.”
Jolene’s archery got serious when Tracy set up a PSE Vendetta XS and started working with her. In no time, Jolene’s groups went from paper plate to baseball size at 40 yards. After the Turkey hunt, she expressed an interest in hunting, and Tracy asked if she would like to put in for a Javelina tag. She said yes!
“I have never worked with anyone that listened so intently, paid so much attention and was so careful to understand what they were being told and why. I guess it’s a doctor thing!” Said Tracy.
The second weekend in January, Tracy and Jolene hunted just outside of Tucson. After glassing a few Coues deer, Tracy found a good herd of Javelina about a mile away on the edge of a little plateau covered with Prickly Pear cactus and Ocotillo. Tracy had been there before and figured that the Javelina would likely feed there until they bedded for their afternoon nap.
After a half mile forced march through the cat claw, they started up the mountain. Using a large Saguaro cactus as reference, Tracy stalked within 40 yards with Jo right on his heels just like she was instructed. The wind was good and the Javelina were slowly feeding their direction. As they moved into position, Tracy could see a large Javelina lying under a tree just 25 yards away.
“We had heard soft ‘grunting’ and ‘fussing’ noises that were surely little ones coming from that direction,” reported Tracy.
Concerned that this Javelina might be a nursing momma, Tracy elected to pass on the shot. The problem was that the hunters were now held at bay by the relaxed pig and could not advance the stalk; instead, they were forced to just let it happen and hope one of the other pigs would feed their way and present a shot.
Thirty minutes later a pair of younger Javelina fed across in front of Tracy and Jolene. Jolene prepared her bow and waited for the shot. Unfortunately, they got far enough past the two hunters that they caught their wind and got spooked. The signature alarm “woofing” sound they make alerted the alleged nursing momma which got spooked as well. As it turned out, it was not a nursing female, but just another large Javelina.
“Too late now,” Tracy thought as the pig trotted off into the brush.
The herd was spread out enough that not all the Javelina were alerted, and the two hunters quickly moved forward to another group that was alert but not running…yet! Approaching a small drainage that was thick with cat claw, Tracy could see the shiny black hair of a Javelina’s back hidden in the cat claw brush. Tracy had Jo slip in front of him where she could see through the brush at an open spot just behind the shoulder of the confused target. The arrow hit perfectly in the lungs and the startled Javelina “woofed” in a run where it expired about 30 yards away.
“Jolene is an extremely sensitive person. I wanted this to be clean and quick. I was careful not to let her take a questionable shot and waited for a good broad side shot…it all worked out just fine,” said Tracy. “We always have fun and this was no exception. Jolene offered a quick prayer of thanks and appreciation for the harvest that she had taken, and off the mountain we went. That evening we hosted a small dinner party with good friends and shared the morning’s events.”
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