PSE’s Will Jenkins – I Fell in Love with Archery
I’ve been hunting about as long as I’ve been old enough to follow my Dad around in the woods. I started out squirrel hunting with the .22 and eventually hunting deer with an old split barrel 20 gauge. Growing up hunting in central Virginia meant a pretty short season and only hunting weekends. Another thing that makes hunting in Virginia a little different is hunting with deer dogs. I won’t go too deep into that, it’s just different than how most people grow up deer hunting. I finally killed my first deer when I was 14 years old. It was a small 6 point that I killed back down in a swamp. I was shaky and nervous and I’m not sure me or my Dad could have been more excited!
Since my first deer 13 years ago I’ve killed quite a few more but never more than two or three a season. As a matter of fact there have been several seasons without killing a single deer. That also made me a less than enthusiastic hunter for quite a while. Then in December of 2004 I killed my biggest buck to date. He’s no monster but at around 130″ he was the biggest deer I’d ever seen in real life. I shot him with my 12 gauge. He’s was being run by dogs running flat out through the woods. While most people look down on taking running shots at deer, when hunting where it’s legal to hunt with dogs you rarely get any other kind of shot. I didn’t put a great shot on him so it was quite a tracking job but once we found him there in the creek we were all pretty excited. Then the jokes started. Since we found him in the creek all the blood had washed away and even as we were gutting him we couldn’t find any pellets. So the joke started that I scared him to death. After the taxidermist skinned him out he found one pellet in an artery in his neck. It was definitely a lucky shot. Not that I’m purely a trophy hunter but after killing that big buck my attitude changed toward hunting.
Then after college I moved to Maryland for a job in Baltimore. I moved in December, so needless to say that season wasn’t great but as I looked at the Maryland hunting regulations I realized if I wanted to have any kind of hunting season I need to start bow hunting. So, I found the forum at MarylandWhitetail.com and started asking questions about getting started. Shortly thereafter various members of the Maryland Bow hunters Society had pretty much completely outfitted my hand-me-down bow with lightly used gear. Another MBS member happened to have access to an indoor range near my house and would meet me there every other Wednesday to practice. Then I had the chance to hunt in Maryland some where there are no dogs running and on properties with little bow hunting pressure. It was amazing. I’d never really had the opportunity to watch deer behave or just be without being chased by a dog. That’s when the obsession really started. I fell in love with archery and hunting deer that were less pressured.
Now I’m back living in Virginia hunting some local places and still carrying the bow as much as possible. I also plan to hunt some in Maryland this season all of which will be with my bow. Hopefully all of that time will lead to some great stories and maybe even trophy to share with you all! If nothing else, I’m excited to share a bunch of hunts with some good friends.
Will Jenkins is creator of TheWilltoHunt.com and Harnesses For Hunters. He’s an avid outdoorsman who enjoys sharing his experiences through his blog. He also writes for Bow Adventures e-Magazine and is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association.
Will lives in Central Virginia with his wife and two kids. He hunts in Virginia and Maryland but has dreams of heading west to hunt Elk and Mule Deer.