Mike Deschamps Takes a Lioness with His PSE Mach 12 Bow
Editor’s Note: Mike Deschamps from Brooktondale, New York, has been on the PSE Pro Staff since Pete Shepley first started the company.
On this lion hunt, I was the most nervous I’d ever been in my hunting career. The lioness we hunted in Botswana, Africa, was a nuisance lioness that had been killing livestock. I’d gotten a call from a friend of mine who told me about this lioness and asked if I’d like to come hunt her with my bow. I said that I would, and within 2 weeks, I was in Botswana. My guide had told me before we started hunting this big lioness, that she would more than likely charge us three or four times before she actually came in, but, on the fourth time, she wouldn’t be bluffing. She would be coming after us. When we were on the trail of the lioness, I had to stop my trackers. I’d hunted my entire life and believed I was a pretty good woodsman. And, I’d look at the ground where these trackers had said the lioness had walked, and I couldn’t see any tracks, scat or disturbed earth to indicate that an animal had been there. But, my professional tracker told me, “These trackers are actually seeing broken pieces of grass. These people have been tracking animals all their lives.” So, as our trackers lead us to this big lioness, we were actually able to spot her five times. But, the lioness never charged us.
On the second day of the hunt, we were headed back toward camp just before dark, and my PH (professional hunter) slammed on the brakes of the Land Rover and said, “There she is, there she is, there she is!” I didn’t see anything when we bailed out of the Land Rover, but I grabbed my bow. The PH pointed out the lioness inside a small thicket. “When a lion’s in a thicket, the animal doesn’t think you can see it.” But the place the lioness was hiding was extremely thick, and I told him I didn’t feel comfortable taking the shot. The PH turned to me and said, “We have to shoot the lioness right now. I’ve seen you shoot targets, and I know you can take this shot. We have to put this lioness down now.” I only had about an 8 inch opening to shoot through to be able to hit the vitals. The lioness was 32 yards away when I drew my Mach 12 and released the arrow. The arrow struck the lioness, and she jumped at least 4 or 5 feet straight up in the air and took off running. We immediately ran after her. She only went about 80 yards and then stopped; so, I moved in about 30 yards from her. She walked about 10 feet and stopped again. By this time, I had drawn my third arrow, and the third arrow hit home. The lioness went down.
We measured the lioness from her nose to the tip of her tail, and she was a huge 9 feet long. The camp had a set of scales that would measure 500 pounds. But when we put her on the scales, her head and shoulders remained on the ground, and the scales still topped out at 500 pounds. We knew she weighed more than 500 pounds. This lioness scored in the top 5 lions in the SCI record book.
As I’ve said before, when you hunt dangerous game, you must have a weapon to depend on, and for more than 30 years I’ve been depending on my PSE bows. This year I’ll be shooting a PSE EVO 7, and I’m really looking forward to getting the newest and the fastest bow PSE has for the bowhunter.
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