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100 Deer with a Bow

Ken Reeves | Mossy Oak ProStaff

I began bowhunting when I was 16 and started working at Pat’s Archery Shop in Jasper, Alabama. I shot archery tournaments for a while. Then I became obsessed with shooting 3D archery tournaments and bowhunting for deer. By the time I was 25, I had taken more than 100 deer with my bow. During that time Alabama’s deer herd had grown to gigantic proportions, and deer hunters who hunted with their bows and rifles could take a buck and a doe each day from October 15 until January 31. So, taking more than one deer per day wasn’t too difficult. I started bowhunting when I was 16, and taking numbers of deer was important to me at that time. Most of the deer that I took were does. 

I hunted in south Alabama on private land, and I hunted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ land on the Tennessee/Tombigbee Waterway. The Corps of Engineers’ land was just absolutely overrun with deer. The property we hunted then was primarily from the water’s edge to about 100 yards from the water’s edge. Most deer hunters don’t know much about the availability of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ land on or near major waterways. For that reason, I rarely, if ever, saw another hunter where I was hunting there. The Corps of Engineers’ land I hunted had to be accessed by water, and that water barrier reduced the number of hunters hunting those lands.  

One of my hunting buddies had a friend who had a cabin on the Tombigbee River, a part of the Tenn/Tom Waterway. The banks were so steep where the cabin was located that he had railroad tracks from his cabin down to the water. We’d hook our boat up to a truck, set the boat on the railroad tracks and then back the truck up to let the boat down into the water. The cabin was so far away from any boat ramp that we had that Corps of Engineers’ land pretty much to ourselves, and that land was virtually unhunted.  

For a while, I was hunting the Bowhunters of Alabama 3D archery circuit. Then I started shooting International Bowhunters Organization (IBO) meets somewhat later in my bowhunting career. When I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, I shot some indoor tournaments. But after I’d spent several years shooting archery tournaments, I backed out of them and spent my time hunting deer instead. 

When I was in college at Jacksonville State University, I hunted mostly public land. I hunted the property at Ft. McClellan near Anniston, Alabama and Alabama’s Choccolocco WMA. Like most Alabama bowhunters, I hunted then throughout bow season and do today. 

Hunting with pistols is similar to bowhunting in that you have to get closer to the deer than when using a rifle. Pistol hunting is a lot of fun and is a challenging way to try to take a deer, similar to bowhunting.

To learn more about deer hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ ebook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows."

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