John’s Note: Nathan Brooks from Alma, Arkansas, has won the IBO (International Bowhunting Organization) Triple Crown team championships, numerous individual tournaments on ASA’s (Archery Shooters Association) Pro Am tours and the NFAA’s (National Field Archery Association) national championships back to back, is an avid bowhunter and is on PSE’s Pro Staff (http://pse-archery.com). Today, Brooks coaches tournament archers and believes that any bowhunter who wants to become better should shoot tournament archery.
We had canoed in to hunt, so we would make little or no noise and leave very little human odor. We had set a time that we needed to come out of our tree stands to be able to paddle back to our vehicles to go home. I just had looked at my watch before the deer appeared. I knew that I only had 15 minutes before I was supposed to meet my friend on this last day of a 10 day hunting trip. I determined the deer was at 35 yards. The shot was a steep angle shot, because the buck was turning to his right.
To make a lethal shot, I knew I’d have to place the arrow between his last rib and his hindquarter.
The arrow needed to be closer to his hindquarter than his rib. The angle was steep, since I was really high in the tree stand. I wasn’t going to place the arrow directly in his backbone, but to make a lethal shot, I had to hit close to the backbone. I knew the arrow had to go completely through the deer and exit through his chest cavity. I made the shot and saw my arrow disappear into the chest cavity. When I recovered the buck, the broadhead was sticking about 3 inches out of his chest.
Unlike 3D archery, to be a successful bowhunter, you really have to know an animal’s anatomy.
For many archers, that shot probably would have been a no shot. But because I understood the deer’s anatomy, I knew I could shoot accurately at that distance, and I recognized the path the arrow had to fly for me to be successful. I didn’t hesitate to make the shot. I probably wouldn’t have attempted a shot at this buck, if not for my 3D archery training.
This was a pressure shot, and it had to be an extremely accurate shot. I only had a few seconds to decide whether to shoot or not to shoot, where I wanted to place the arrow, and where I wanted the arrow to come out, then draw the bow, go through my shot sequence and deliver the arrow. I had confidence that my PSE X-force could hit the spot I wanted to hit on that deer, and it had the power to push that broadhead through almost the entire length of the deer’s body.
To get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “Bowhunting Deer: The Secrets of the PSE Pros,” “How to Hunt Deer Up Close: With Bows, Rifles, Muzzleloaders and Crossbows,” “PhD Whitetails: How to Hunt and Take the Smartest Deer on Any Property,” and How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here to get these books.
About the Author
John Phillips, winner of the 2012 Homer Circle Fishing Award for outstanding fishing writer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) and the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the 2008 Crossbow Communicator of the year and the 2007 Legendary Communicator chosen for induction into the National Fresh Water Hall of Fame, is a freelance writer (over 6,000 magazine articles for about 100 magazines and several thousand newspaper columns published), magazine editor, photographer for print media as well as industry catalogues (over 25,000 photos published), lecturer, outdoor consultant, marketing consultant, book author and daily internet content provider with an overview of the outdoors.