TN Deer Opener

By Brodie SwisherSeptember 24, 2016

A new day has dawned in the Swisher House. Gone are the days of me enjoying opening day alone in the treestand. This year, my kiddos made it abundantly clear that they planned on being a part of the action for the opener. At first it was just my two boys, Aidan and Easton. But then their big sister, Avery, decided she wanted to try early season archery. She has a handful of deer under her belt, but has yet to hit the woods with archery equipment. So the TN deer opener found me and three feisty kids piled in the blind for a quick hunt before football and soccer games.

mission sniper lite

We’ve dreamed about bloodtrails on opening day all summer long. The day has finally come.

Avery all but pushed her little brothers aside as she claimed her place behind the crossbow for opening morning. She really wanted to see what all the fuss was about when it came to slingin’ arrows…or bolts…in the early season.

Shortly after daylight we had a quick parade of bachelor bucks cruise by on the far end of the food plot, headed back to bed.  The first buck to come by was one we have not seen yet this season. His front right leg is damaged, and he’s walking with a pretty bad limp. The second buck was a familiar buck that we’ve seen a few times in recent months. He’s a pretty 10-pointer that each of the kids have tried to claim as their own. The last buck was one we saw a number of times on the farm last year. We call him Striper because of the big white striped he’s got down his left shoulder, like a javelina. He hasn’t shown up on camera all summer, so we were surprised to see him alive and well on the farm. All three bucks skirted the far end of the food plot at 50 yards. A little too far for Avery’s first attempt.

buck on camera

Avery claimed this buck as her own when she first saw him show up on the trail camera. He was just a little too far for a shot on the opener.

The bucks had just cleared the scene when a doe and fawn came from the opposite direction. These two got a free pass. However, a few minutes later a lone doe came in and made her way across the food plot as Avery prepared to make the shot. I stopped the deer for the shot but it didn’t pause long enough for Avery to get settled in. I bleated to stop the deer at 30 yards before it got too far out. Avery was ready this time and squeezed off the shot.

doe kill on tn opener

Avery kicked off the TN deer opener right with meat in the freezer on the first morning.

The doe had just cleared the field when I heard her crash into the creek. A moment later all was silent in the woods. Avery had just killed her first deer with archery gear.

She was pumped, her brothers were jealous, and dad was all smiles.

Avery was shooting the Mission Sniper Lite crossbow. Light, compact, and easy to maneuver. It’s the perfect crossbow for kids of all ages.

doe kill

There’s nothing like watching your child discover the excitement of archery season.



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