How Bad Do You Want to Be a Bowhunter?

By Brodie SwisherNovember 22, 20231 Comment

Countless hunters hit the woods each season in hopes of taking their first deer with a bow. Maybe they’ve found success with a rifle or muzzleloader, but now they want to take their skills to the next level and notch a tag with archery tackle.

Sadly, for many of these hunters, the opportunity for success never comes throughout the archery season. Frustration and discouragement set in, and they quickly trade in their bow for a gun when the seasons change. 

The question is, how bad do you want to be a bowhunter?   

How Bad Do You Want To Be A Bowhunter?

Do you want it bad enough to stick with it when things get tough? Do you want it bad enough to keep waking up at 4:00am day after day? Will you stick with it even after you’ve emptied your quiver and still haven’t drawn blood? Some hunters will. Others won’t. 

Bryson Duffer is one of those guys who almost threw in the towel after a number of failed attempts. However, his persistence paid off recently with his first deer with a bow. He shares his story below. 

We have been watching this deer for the past 3 years, knowing he had a lot of potential. He was just 2 1/2 years old the first time we saw him. Last year, we debated on if we should hunt him as a mid-130s 9 point. 

I ended up letting him walk several times last year, hoping to see him make it at least one more year. 

This summer, I decided that I wanted to pursue bowhunting this season and was committed to getting my first deer with a bow. I went to the shop and bought a new Mathews Phase 4 and absolutely loved it.

Opening day came, and I hit the woods trying to find the buck I’d been after. I had no luck finding him the first two weeks of the season and decided to try to take a doe to get my confidence up with my bow. I got a shot on a big mature doe one evening, but hit her high and never found her. 

That hunt obviously didn’t help my confidence at all, and I was wondering if I even needed to go after the big buck with my bow or not. But I stuck with it and practiced shooting almost every day. Through the month of October, I had four encounters with this big deer, but he was always out of range, or not right for the shot.  

How Bad Do You Want To Be A Bowhunter?

Finally, opening day of muzzleloader season arrived, and I decided to stick with my bow to keep hunting the buck. I went back to my treestand in the spot he had been showing up most often to see if he would make an appearance. It was a lock-on stand hung on the edge of a soybean field. 

I had only been in the stand for about 40 minutes when I turned to look behind me, and there he was. He was working the field edge, cruising for a doe. I slowly grabbed my bow and waited for the perfect shot opportunity. He ended up stopping at 21 yards, perfectly broadside, and I let an arrow fly. The shot was great, and he only ran about 40 yards before going down in the field. 

The adrenaline rush of shooting a deer with a gun is nothing compared to shooting a deer with a bow! I was tore up! It was an amazing feeling being able to harvest a deer this size with a bow. I will be a bowhunter from now on.

How Bad Do You Want To Be A Bowhunter?

A big congrats to Bryson on his first bow kill. His commitment to sticking with the bow paid off with a buck many hunters only dream about. 

It would have been easy for him to swap the Mathews out for a muzzleloader this past weekend. However, his goal was to take his first deer with a bow. And you can’t kill a deer with a bow if you’re totin’ a gun to the woods. 

How bad do you want to be a bowhunter? 

Set goals for your season, and make it happen! 

Brodie Swisher
Brodie Swisher is a world champion game caller, outdoor writer, seminar speaker and Editor for Bowhunting.com. Brodie and his family live in the Kentucky Lake area of west Tennessee.
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