It’s one thing to see this malady on TV. It’s quite another to feel it first-hand.
"Yes! Yes!” These two words, followed by a fist pump and a high five, have bounced around in my head for the past two years, ever since the day my husband introduced me to what is now a passion, bowhunting.
Lance is a mailman and I’m a teacher, but we have one great thing in common other than our two little girls: We are both whitetail freaks. Never did I dream that I would be a hunter, and it wasn’t until this November that I could actually call myself a bowhunter.
I patiently watched, listened and observed every second of Outdoor Channel, and one thing I noticed was common to almost all bowhunters is the initial reaction after sticking a great whitetail. I had heard those the same two words and seen the same fist pump from hunter to hunter, and I knew one thing — I wanted that experience.
I had already felt the gut-wrenching feeling of a miss. I blew it on Thanksgiving morning in 2010. Surprisingly, Lance stayed married to me after all the drama. What I didn’t realize at the time of my miss, however, was that it would help me achieve what I have always desired in this sport.
Through my short hunting career, I have discovered there is one aspect of bowhunting that can’t be duplicated anywhere else: buck fever.
There was a different feeling in the air on the morning of Nov. 6, 2011. Walking to the stand, my husband whispered, “Great day, today!” He was dead on.
From the moment we got in our stands, the sound of rustling animals echoed beneath us. From first light on, we were never without company.
What happened next will be forever etched in my mind as one of the greatest experiences in my short 28 years of life. From the moment I saw the flash of white and heard Lance whisper, “Grab your bow!” to drawing the bow and hearing the broadhead hit the vitals of my buck is a series of events I can see perfectly clearly in my mind’s eye.
Of course, that was followed by a heartfelt “Yes! Yes!” and a huge fist pump.
Then it happened. Oh my gosh, buck fever. Wow!
The two words leapt out of my mouth as tears filled my eyes.
I didn’t want the moment, the feeling or the day to end. I don’t think I would have left the stand, but I was shaking so badly I thought I was going to fall out.
I will replay that feeling forever — not just the feeling of buck fever, but also the amazing story and moments I shared with my husband, my girls and the rest of my family and friends. The countdown to next year has al- ready begun.
I cherish now what is only a memory, a story and a mount on my wall, and it’s certainly a feeling I want to have again.
Today, my drive to have that initial experience of taking a buck has been filled with a new goal. I want nothing more than for my girls to experience buck fever, too!
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• Does Matter: If your objective is a buck, you should spend more time scouting does. This article was published in the September 2012 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Subscribe today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.