Hunting Deer with Grandchildren – the Greatest Hunts with...

Practice Hunting Deer with the PSE Fang Crossbow and...

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The PSE Fang Crossbow for Children to Hunt Deer with Mossy Oak’s Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland

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John’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, the senior vice president of Mossy Oak/Haas Outdoors, Inc. in charge of video and television production, has shot tournament archery and is a lifelong bowhunter. This week you’ll learn how Strickland has passed on his hunting heritage to his children and grandchildren.  



My 6-year old grandson Matt and I were in a portable blind on his first practice hunt after he’d been shooting the PSE Fang crossbow (see Days 1 and 2). He was watching three does out in the green field and studying the picture he had drawn of the deer with his X mark on it that I had used to teach him where I wanted him to aim with his crossbow. As I watched him, I was really surprised at how calm he was. Earlier, Matt had told me, “If that deer moves a little bit to the right, I can shoot him.” That comment really surprised me. I didn’t know if he would shoot a deer, and I didn’t know how he might feel about shooting a deer. I answered, “Okay, Matt, if the deer moves to the right, and you think you can shoot him, tell me.” Although the PSE Fang crossbow was set-up to shoot, we had the safety on, so Matt could practice being in a hunting situation without taking the shot.

While all the activity was going on in the blind, I was videoing Matt. I was more excited than Matt. I was trying to film the hunt, look at Matt and talk to him. Also, I was looking at the deer that Matt had asked me if he could shoot. At the same time, I was attempting to keep my nerves intact, while all these things were happening. The doe was totally broadside to Matt. I ranged the deer, and she was at 28 yards. So, I told Matt to put the second dot in his scope right on the X on the doe that I had marked on his paper drawing of a deer. Matt took his eye out of the scope, studied his deer target and put his shoulder on the crossbow. Then he said, “Pop, I’m ready.” I whispered, “Be sure to slowly squeeze the trigger like you did in practice, and take the shot.” Matt performed just exactly like he had been practicing. Because I had put a Lumenok on the back of his arrow, I was able to see the arrow in flight and watched the arrow hit exactly in the spot where I had instructed Matt to shoot.

The PSE Fang Crossbow for Children to Hunt Deer with Mossy Oak’s Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland10

Once the doe took the arrow, she ran about 20-yards out of the green field and then went back in the thicket of briars and young pines from where she had come. Just after she ran out of the green field, I distinctly heard the deer crash. I looked at Matt and said, “I’m pretty certain I heard the deer crash, but we have to sit a little while to make sure the deer is down, before we go looking for it.” I watched Matt wring his hands like he was washing them. He was so excited he didn’t know what to do. Finally, as the adrenaline in Matt’s little body calmed down, he looked-up at me and said, “Pop, we need to say a prayer before we go look for the deer.” I said, “Okay, let’s take our hats off, and you say the prayer.” He took his hat off, put his little hands together in a praying position, bowed his head and prayed, “God, please help me find my deer. You know it’s the first deer I’ve ever shot, and you have a great week. Amen.” I almost cried. Unfortunately I had turned-off the video camera before Matt suggested the prayer. So, I didn’t get the prayer on video.

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After the prayer, I used my cell phone to text Matt’s dad, my son-in-law Richard Ellis, who was back at the farmhouse. “Matt, just shot a deer,” I told him. “Come help us find it.” I hardly had gotten my phone back in my pocket when I saw Matt’s dad on a dead run coming to us. The three of us walked over to where the deer had been standing when Matt took the shot. Matt looked down and said, “Pop, there’s some blood right here.” I told Matt, “Follow the blood trail.” While Matt was down looking for blood, I moved close to the thicket. I could see one little opening, and I spotted the deer on the ground. Matt was like a little beagle dog following the trail of a rabbit. He followed that blood trail like he had been doing it all this life and followed the blood through the thicket. When he saw the deer on the ground, his eyes lit up like neon lights. He pointed at the deer and said, “There he is.” Matt’s dad and I hardly could believe our eyes or that my 6-year-old grandson had taken his first deer with a crossbow and had made a perfect shot on the deer.

To learn more about deer hunting, you can get John E. Phillips’ Kindle eBooks, “How to Hunt and Take Big Buck Deer on Small Properties,” (John’s latest book), “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,” “How to Take Monster Bucks,” and “How to Hunt Deer Like a Pro,” or to prepare venison, get “Deer & Fixings.” Click here to get these books.

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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. Click here for more information and a list of all the books available from John E. Phillips.

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