Editor’s Note: Kyle Meyer from Milan, Michigan, has been a Mossy Oak pro for the last 5 years. “I became a pro when I was 19, and I'm 24 now,” Meyer says. Like many of us, Meyer went with his dad deer hunting when he was about 4-years old and started hunting on his own when he was 12, the age at which he could hunt with a bow in Michigan. He’d rather hunt with a bow, but he also hunts with a gun in his home state, one of the top three states for numbers of deer hunters in the U.S. Although Meyer has 6,000 acres of private land to hunt, that only includes about 200 acres of woodlots. According to Meyer, “My favorite Mossy Oak pattern is Treestand, because most of the time, I'm hunting from a tree stand. When I'm in a ground blind, from the waist up, I’ll wear a solid black shirt, gloves and face paint and my Treestand pants. I also wear Mossy Oak Infinity for turkey season, and I like Mossy Oak Bottomland.”
As I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve been hunting with my dad since I was 4 years old. I’d watched him pass up little bucks and only harvest mature bucks. So, when I was old enough to hunt on my own, I adopted my dad’s philosophy. Dad didn’t harvest little bucks, and neither would I. All my friends and my dad’s friends would tell me, “You’re a little kid, so, go ahead and shoot a 1-1/2-year-old buck,” but I wouldn’t.
My dad woke me up early on the morning of my first hunt all by myself and told me, “Kyle, you’d better go get in your stand, if you’re going to take a deer today.” I really didn’t want to get up, but I rolled out of bed. Because my phone wasn’t working, Dad gave me a two-way radio. Then I could talk to him while he was on the combine cutting the corn. I was hunting in the middle woods behind the house, and I could see my dad out in the field on the combine.
I was in a two-man ladder stand where my dad and I often hunted. I hadn’t been in the stand for 45 minutes before I heard something coming through the woods. A deer came out of the woods and started walking down the edge of the woods. In Michigan, we can bait deer, so I had a pile of apples right out in front of my stand. Before the buck reached the apples, he started raking his antlers on a small tree. Then he moved toward the apples, stopping 9 yards from my ladder stand. I drew my compound bow. I’d been practicing and knew I could place the arrow where I wanted it to land. I released the arrow, and the shaft went through one lung and hit the heart. The buck made a short circle out through the cut corn, came back into the woods and tipped over.
After taking this first buck with a bow, I never have been able to put my bow down. In many states, you may think a 13-year old is too young to hunt by himself. However, I grew up on our farm hunting with my dad out of the same stand where I took this deer. I was within eyesight of my dad on the combine, had a two-way radio that I could use to talk to him and had been shooting a bow long enough to know I could shoot accurately and put a deer down efficiently.
To learn more about hunting, check out John E. Phillips’ new eBook and print book, “Bowhunting Deer: Mossy Oak Pros Know Bucks and Bows.” You also can download a free Kindle app that enables you to read the book on your iPad, computer or Smartphone.
For information on making jerky from your deer to provide a protein-rich snack, you can download a free book from http://johninthewild.com/free-books.
Tomorrow: Hunt in the Field – Not on the Edge