Like most people I remember in great detail, where I was and what I was doing on September 11th, 2001. Suffice to say that I was not in the woods chasing whitetail. The 2007 hunting season however, was different. Born and raised a fourth generation, Montana native, I moved to Oklahoma in 2001 to start my flying career. Returning to Montana in 2006, I made it a family mission to hunt and play in the outdoors as much as time and life would allow.

This season, I wanted to fill my doe-tag with my PSE Lightning-Flite II and I wanted to find a way to share the experience with my family. I chose a path that I thought would kill several birds with one arrow (or maybe two).

For years now, my parents have battled the deer that come into their yard and wreak havoc on their landscaping, so I set up for a hunt in a field that is approximately 150 yards from my parent’s backyard. By the time I left work that evening, my dad and my wife had already prepared my hay-bale ground blind and was waiting for me. Soon after my arrival, my wife and I were sitting in the blind and our family was watching from the back porch. Everyone waited for the very predictable deer to come into the field.

Around 7:00 pm, we had four deer working their way toward our ambush. There were three does and a little buck. The whitetails moved into range and the anticipation mounted as the little buck walked in and out of my shooting lane. He was a big bodied deer, but lacked the headgear my buck-tag required. Before long, the bigger doe followed the fool hardy buck into my lane. I drew, took careful aim and shot a perfect shot… over her back. Unfortunately, I did not have a range finder with me that evening, and my unseasoned eye estimated her to be at 25 yards. That failure combined with her quick flinching reflexes, left me ultra disappointed. Determined to prove myself to my family, I nocked another arrow and was soon given a second chance. A smaller doe ate her way toward the others and stood exactly where her mentor had stood earlier. This time I held dead-on for 20 yards. The arrow launched, time stood still, and I watched my redemptive Easton Epic 340 disappear into her vitals. She turned and ran into the woods to our right and we watched her fall. Upon recovery, I was ecstatic to see a small pile of foamy pink bubbles coming from the arrow’s fatal exit. My double lung shot limited her final run to about 40 yards. As a new bow hunter, I was very impressed to see that my Muzzy broad head had easily blasted through a rib before exiting the other side. Good archery equipment had left a good impression.

What an exciting and fulfilling hunt. My hours and hours of practice had paid off and I was able to share the moment with my family. I had filled my doe tag, put meat in the freezer and helped mom protect her hallowed greenery. I thank the Lord my God for a clean miss and a clean kill; both of which are answers to prayer. I also thank Him for another memorable September 11th. This time, it was the kind of memory for which we can be grateful. I cannot wait to harvest my next animal and tell you about it. Until then, never forget to appreciate and take advantage of the freedoms we enjoy in this great country!