My Prized Jewel
I grew up hunting with a rifle and a shotgun, but 6 years ago when I met my husband he was an avid bowhunter. I wrote bow hunting off as something I wouldn’t be interested in, and he bow hunted all while we were dating. The year we got married, curiosity took hold, and I wanted to know if I could possibly even attempt to shoot a bow let alone hunt successfully with one. He got his old bow, and shortened the draw length as short as he could get it and let me start shooting. I went along with him during bow season that year (2010), but we never had the opportunity for either of us to harvest an animal.
The following Valentines day we went to several different archery shops, before I settled on a Mathews Passion for my Valentines day gift. The first hunting season after Valentines day was turkey season, and I was determined to harvest my first animal (Rio Grande Turkey) with my bow. After several unsuccessful hunts, one afternoon it all came together and I made a 21 yard shot on a big gobbler. That moment ignited my passion for bow hunting. Later that summer Mathews released the Jewel, and I was a little disappointed that I now was shooting the “outdated” bow. One of my girl friends had gotten a Jewel and I had the opportunity to shoot it. I fell in love instantly. It just outperformed my Passion in so many ways.
I hunted all archery deer season 2011 without being able to loose an arrow on a deer. This was frustrating, and a little discouraging. I had to remind myself that mature whitetail deer are incredibly intelligent and weary. May of 2012 rolled around, and my husband asked me what I wanted for our 2nd wedding anniversary. He was shocked when told him I wanted the Mathews Jewel. I just couldn’t get how well it performed out of my head. He may have gotten me diamond earrings our first anniversary, but he bought me my “prized Jewel” for our second anniversary.
2012 Archery season started very well for me. I had seen several deer, and felt like I was finally going to get my opportunity. My second evening hunt opportunity arose. A beautiful mature 8pt walked out in front of me. I spooked him when my arrow clicked off my bow (drop away rest) and he spooked. He came back again that evening, but my safety harness squeaked and he spooked again. I was certain he had been “educated” and we wouldn’t see him again. I sat in that stand the next night, and guess who walked out earlier than ever, my 8pt from the night before. This time I drew my bow and made a sold quartering away shot at 11yds. I waited over an hour before my husband got out of his stand and came to get me. We found my arrow, but couldn’t find any blood in the surrounding area. We searched for almost an hour in the complete darkness, but decided to pull back so we didn’t spook the buck if he was bedded down near by. We resumed our search the next morning. We found good sign that he had bedded up for quite a while, but something had spooked him and he ran. We followed his trail over half a mile, with a solid blood trail. Then poof the trail was gone. After 9 hours of searching we had to call it quits. My mom would resume and search for another hour the following morning with no luck. That afternoon as she was driving past a water tank where our horses and cattle water, she saw my buck, or what was left of him. After almost 48 of the most excruciating hours of my life, I had peace. My buck had gone down, and wasn’t injured somewhere. That buck means more to me than words will ever be able to describe.