My First Bow-Kill Deer

The temperature had been in the low 20s, but had warmed to 42 degrees that late November day in 2005. I was just getting over a major two-week-old cold. I finally felt healthy enough to get in a treestand that night, without coughing every two minutes.

My dad, Tim, agreed and told me I needed to be in top-shooting form, and should take a few practice shots prior to us leaving for my treestand site. I did and my practice shots were dead-on.

“You’re ready to hunt,” dad said.

After showering and double-checking our gear, which included installing razor sharp blade inserts in my Thunderhead 100s, we headed to the woods.

We got there at 2:59 p.m., and I was half-excited and half-nervous. I was in place by 3:10 p.m., and dad helped me get situated, checked my safety belt, wished me good luck, and told me to enjoy the woods. Everything was in place, and now the wait was on.

Dad Puts A Scent Wick Out

Dad went to a different woodlot to hunt, but before he left he put out a scent wick at 14 yards. At 4:11 p.m., I saw a turkey less than 10 yards away that I could have shot many times, but I knew it would mess me up, so I didn’t shoot. At 5:06 p.m., I saw a mother doe on the outside of the cornrows. Just then, not one, but two yearlings followed her. The big doe came in at about 10 yards through the heavy brush, so I could not take a clear shot. She then moved into a spot where there wasn’t any brush. Upon seeing her, I had gone to full draw and held for 10- to 15 seconds, and then had to let down.

The mother doe saw me, she stepped back and then ran away, but one yearling walked slowly away. The other one stopped and smelled the wick at 14 yards. As I went to full draw, I grunted and she stopped and looked left and right. I let the arrow go!

I looked at my watch and it was 5:09 p.m. At 5:18 p.m., I left my treestand, walked out to meet my dad, and told him about the evening hunt, not sure if we had a deer or not, but I felt good about the shot.

Recovering The Deer

The next morning at daylight, we went to see if we could find the deer. Well, it didn’t take long and we found her only 42 yards away from my stand. We shared a moment of tearful joy, and thanked God for creating these great animals.

Reed Burres by first deer after bowhuntingNine-year-old Reed Burres shows off his first deer taken with a bow.

Dad later told me that this was the same woods that he harvested his first bow kill many years before. I now know why dad and I practice as much as we do — and I realize that not all trophies have to have antlers.

Reed’s Gear/Vital Info

Mathews Mustang Bow

22-inch Easton ACC arrows

Jim Fletcher Release

Ranchco Safari Quiver

Bushnell Rangefinder

Scent-Lok Baselayers

Wildlife Research Center Scent

New Archery Products Thunderheads 100 grains

14-yard-shot, angling away, 42-yard recovery, 18 inches penetration

Editor’s Note: Reed’s dad, Tim, is owner of Thor Hunting Adventures in Thor, Iowa. He has access to prime hunting areas making it an ideal spot for youngsters to get used to being in a treestand around deer. In other words, it’s a great place for a young bowhunter to harvest his or her first deer. For information on hunting with Thor Hunting Adventures, call Tim Burres at 515-378-3340, FAX-515-378-3300, or email

For a fine selection of archery gear, check out Sportsman’s Guide today.

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