Year After Year

In Billie McCarter by Billie McCarter

blog 3

I was not going to post anything about it but regardless, even though there is not another addition to my fellas on the wall (cause believe me he was going there), I am still very proud of myself.

When you, a female, tell people you want to hunt, then bow hunt on top of that, it results with the look, some giggles, and negativity. You learn how to turn that negativity into fuel. Fuel to prove them wrong and prove to yourself you can, no matter how long it takes.
I started hunting, like really hunting in 2010. I was in love. In 2011, I wanted to start bow, not to be able to harvest early, but to be able to be in the woods almost a month sooner.

Most people know that Matt and I do not have any children. We work together and of course live together. The one thing we do not do together is hunt. I hunt in one county, while he hunts in another county. My time in the woods, is my time. I can take a nap, reflect, talk with God, see how many squitos I can kill, etc. It’s just me and Mother Nature.

I saw my first doe bowhunting in 2012, I shot every arrow I had in my quiver at that doe and missed every single time. I still laugh about that to this day. Laughter is good for the soul. That is when I learned, practicing from the ground is way different then having to shoot from a deer stand. Needless to say, since then, I now practice from the ground and from a stand.

In 2013, a buck walked out and I had both the bow and gun. I put the bow down and grabbed my rifle. In 2015, I was drawn back on a buck and black face, the name we called the doe, was watching me from a distance and gave me away. She died later that year lol. Last year, I shot at a 6 point and missed, again.

This year was going to be different. I had a new bow, a bow I was confident with, my Bowtech, Eva Shockey SS. I think that makes an enormous difference when you bow hunt, and just hunt period. You must believe in the equipment you are using, you should feel comfortable with it. I love my bow. I was only hoping for a doe, when hunting Sunday, September 24, because like all the past years, when I am at one stand a buck is at another. I had just purchased another Summit Climber so I didn’t have to keep move stands around. After church, I set it up and came back later to climb about 20 feet.

Then the sound that every hunter longs for, began to get louder and louder. I was surprised when he walked out, he was walking right towards me. He came out checked his surrounding and then cut to my left, towards the feeder. He had a wide spread and was a good buck at least 3.5 years by the size of his neck. I knew he was a taker and honestly any buck at this point would have been. My heart was racing. I could not catch my breath. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I just knew he could hear me hyperventilating. I touched my bow and said I can’t miss, I can’t do this. I watched him for 15-20 minutes. My nerves calmed down. I was breathing normally and I knew the decision that need to be made. I decided to go for it. It was at that point I told myself, I can DO this. I thanked God for the opportunity and for allowing this deer to make an appearance.

I waited for the moment and stood up. I had good cover from surrounding trees. I knew I had several good openings for taking a shot. I waited some more and really thought about what I was doing while saying to myself I can do this. I ranged the buck at 23 with my Vortex Rangefinder. When he turned to circle, I drew back and when he stopped I released. I did not miss. I heard the ‘thump’. I was so excited, so proud of myself for making a connection. The hyperventilating resumed. It was something in the 7 seasons prior, I had never done before. I thought he was down, I just knew he had to be. I heard him stop and waited 20 minutes before climbing down, I called my father-in-law (he is always my first call) and waited on him to get there. We looked and found no blood, no arrow, no buck. I was devastated.

After watching over and over, slowing it down frame by frame, listening, I had made a shoulder blade shot.

As heartbroken as I am, I am still very proud. I am not a professional. Each time I step into the woods I learn something new. I experience something different. I know now, I can make the connection. I believe if I had waited a second and let him step with that front right leg, I may would have a different result.

Anyway, I am telling you this novel to say despite the world never give up. Women, young ladies, never let society tell you where you belong and don’t belong, because by gosh I belong in the woods.

Although I may never see him again, there is more than one deer in the woods. I am thankful to God for each experience and another day to spend in his creation.