James Nickols Bowhunts With His PSE Bow and His 10 Year Old Son
I was hunting in Warsaw, Missouri, on some government land when I found some phenomenally large rubs. But I never got any pictures of quality bucks on this property. On this hunt, I was taking my 10-year-old son Devin with me to see a deer and experience bow hunting. He’d already taken a deer with his rifle. We were sitting together in a ladder stand when a nice little 6-point buck came by us. This buck wasn’t a monster, but he came extremely close. I shot him at about 12 yards. I normally would have let this deer go, but I had my son with me. I wanted him to see and experience a successful bow hunt.
We were set up on a trail between two ridges with plenty of acorns on them. There was a 35-yard wide and 50-yard long saddle in between these two ridges. I set up on the edge of the saddle to see both sides of the mountain. When we first spotted the buck, he was 75 or 80 yards away and my son really got excited. He was loudly whispering, “Deer, Dad, deer,” because he saw the deer before I did. I don’t know why the deer didn’t hear us, because I had to quiet my son down, so the deer would keep coming. Devin was fidgeting and getting buck fever, and he wasn’t even the one shooting. His leg was twitching, and his hands were moving, and I absolutely couldn’t understand why the deer didn’t see us. He came in from behind us, but then gave me a perfect broadside shot. When the arrow hit the buck, Devin said, “Dad, that’s the most awesome thing I’ve ever seen.”
Once the arrow hit, the buck went to the ground immediately, but I’m not sure whether the arrow got to the buck first or Devin did. It seemed like it all happened at the same time. Devin tried to start dragging the deer out by himself, but he only made it about 2 or 3 feet before the weight of the deer calmed his enthusiasm. Devin had been taking deer since he was 6 years old – in Missouri where we live, children can hunt from the time they’re 6 years old. But, all of his deer had been taken with a gun. This hunt was the closest he’d ever been to a live deer, and the first deer he’d seen taken with a bow. He’s been hooked on bow hunting ever since that hunt, and keeping him at home is hard now that he’s 13 and wants to be in the woods all the time.
Now that I’ve got the two pieces of property that I can hunt, I also can take Devin with me, and he can hunt that land too. We’re totally fixed up for this coming hunting season. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d ever have 10,500 acres to hunt and not have to spend any money except for $50/month for utilities (see Day 2) to hunt these two spots. We’ve got great places to hunt and plenty of deer that we can take. So, this should be our dream season with PSE.