Contributed by Alli Armstrong.
On a breezy November morning my dad and I carefully climbed in our tree stand. I securely attached my Hunter Safety System onto the tree and Dad got the video camera set up on the tree arm. As I listened to the sounds of animals in the woods I used my rangefinder to mentally mark various places a deer could come within shooting distance. At this time I was 11 years old and pulling back 40 pounds. Before long we spotted two small 6 pointers in front of us. I was happy to see deer moving in the area. After watching the bucks for a while we got to witness them bristle up and start fighting. While enjoying the show we spotted movement to our right. A larger buck came out and the two deer quit sparring.
At eleven years old, I was thrilled to take my first buck with a bow out of the Dime Pond Stand.
As long as the big buck kept going on the path he was traveling he’d be at 20 yards broadside in no time. When he was almost to a fallen oak treetop I knew that would be my opportunity to draw my bow. I drew back but instead of keeping his pace he stopped behind the treetop to eat acorns. I eventually let down because he was taking too long chomping on acorns. After waiting for what seemed like forever, I saw the deer twitch his tail, his mouth full of acorns, and slowly take a step forward. I drew back for the second time and waited for Dad to whistle so the buck would stop. The buck looked the other way and stopped in his tracks. I put my pin right behind his shoulder and squeezed the trigger on my release. The arrow hit right where I was aiming! The deer mule kicked and ran about 50 yards then went down. I was so excited! I had shot my first buck with a bow and Dad had filmed the whole thing!
I shoot a variety of targets, but closer to season I like to shoot the life-like deer targets to help with realistic shot placement.
On my way to see my buck I was thinking about how good this hunting spot truly was. We called it the “dime pond” stand. In the woods we were hunting there is a pond about twice the size of a pickup truck that sits on a saddle that deer use to travel from one ridge to the next. My Papaw and Dad have hunted this area all of their lives. It was special to me that I got to hunt there too.
I spend a lot of time practicing so that when the opportunity arises I can be confident in my shot placement.
The first time Papaw hunted this spot was in 1962. Back then they didn’t have steps or stands, so he climbed limb to limb in the tree with just his recurve bow and a few arrows. While sitting on a limb a dime fell out of his pocket and went under the leaves right next to the pond bank. After his morning’s hunt he searched pretty hard for the dime, because back then you could get more for a dime than you can today. Unfortunately, he didn’t find it, but the name stuck.
One of my favorite places in the world to be is in a tree stand.
If the dime pond could talk it would tell you how things have evolved in three generations time. From Papaw climbing up the tree with no steps or stand and using a stick and string, to the early 80’s when Dad would use big nails to drive into the tree for steps and build a wooden platform. He would mark the yardage from his stand by using a knife to skin the bark off trees, leaving a white shiny spot. Dad’s first hunting bow was a Black Bear compound and he used tape on the riser for sights. Now, I shoot my Mathews Jewel at life-size 3D targets like the Glendel Full Rut Buck and calculate my yardage with my Nikon Rangefinders, while sitting in a two person ladder stand with HD cameras rolling on every hunt.
Things sure have changed since my Papaw hunted these woods. I’m so thankful that he took my Daddy hunting and now my Daddy takes me hunting! The dime pond has been a great place to hunt for many years. Hopefully it’s a tradition that will continue for many more!