By Prois Staffer Shannon Rasmussen
This past September I had a very exciting moment, in fact, it was one of the biggest moments I’ve had in my hunting career thus far. You see, last year I decided to try my hand at bow hunting. I had been tagging along on my husband, Shane’s, bow hunts for several years but had never felt that I had the heart or patience to do it myself. I had witnessed so many close encounters and hunts that hadn’t worked out that I didn’t think I could emotionally be the hunter behind the bow. But after buying a bow and competing in several 3-D bow shoots, I decided that I wanted to give archery hunting a shot. My first year was an emotional roller coaster to put it mildly. We were getting into elk almost every time we went out hunting, but my nerves got the best of me each time. By the end of the season I had missed three cows, cried a lot, and the confidence in my ability was fading fast. With that said, going into season two, I was excited and very nervous to see just what I could do. With another season of 3-D competitions under my belt, and the lessons learned from last season, I felt like I was going in as a much more knowledgeable hunter this year. Opening day of the season started out spectacularly! My 15 year old son was able to harvest a 2×2 bull within the first 20 minutes of the hunt. We had hiked in and bumped the bull. He trotted off, but my husband cow called and he came back. The bull stopped behind a tree. I had stopped about 20 yards behind the men, so I cow called, which caused the bull to step out from behind the tree, giving my son a perfect shot opportunity. We were all so excited! Two days later my husband and I got up early and headed to a spot where we had seen a few bulls the previous evening. We knew that we were in for a pretty tough hike, so going in to the hunt we agreed that we would only shoot a 5pt+ bull. As we were climbing up the mountain we once again walked right in on a spike bull. Luckily it didn’t see us, so we ducked down behind some bushes. We sat watching the spike for a few minutes when suddenly we realized that the bushes behind him were moving. It turned out there was a 5×5 and a 7×7 bull about 20 yards behind the spike. My husband tried to sneak closer, but the spike bull decided to walk down the hill right beside us, and what did he do next? He laid down about 10 yards behind me! I could not believe what was happening! Now, there we were, stuck with nothing between us and this little bull. After about 15 minutes the bull finally sensed that something wasn’t right, stood up, and proceeded to trot up the hill, running the other two big bulls off. It was such a cool experience that we couldn’t do anything but laugh about it afterwards.
The following weekend we headed back up to archery camp, rested and ready for another chance. Shane and I picked a spot to hunt on Saturday morning and headed out early. We had only been hiking for about 30 minutes when he heard a cow chirping in the distance. We stopped, got set up, and started cow calling back at her. We could tell that she was getting closer, and I started getting nervous. Finally she appeared on the hill just above us. She was about 30 yards away, and moving across the hillside. She walked behind a tree, and I took the opportunity to draw back my bow. My husband cow called, stopping her, but there was a dead tree laying in front of her, obstructing my shooting lane. It felt like an eternity holding my bow back, waiting for her to step out. After about a minute she took two more steps and I shot. The arrow passed right through, double lunging her. She took a couple more steps and then tumbled over. I was absolutely ecstatic!! I cried tears of joy!! After all of the hard work and emotions, I had finally harvested an animal with my bow!! It was everything I had ever imagined it would be!! There is nothing that compares to bow hunting in my opinion!! #Proiswasthere!! My hunt would not have been the same without my very durable, yet incredibly comfortable Prois ProEdition Pants, Elevation Shirt, and cap in Mountain Mimicry.