Lady Hunter Kills First Bow Buck
A Cartersville hunter says it was worth the wait after bagging a 133-inch buck with her bow.
Three years of no success is enough to drive even the most dedicated of hunters out of the woods and onto other things. However, I suppose some things are worth the wait. Jenifer Fuqua, of Cartersville, has been sitting for countless hours in the tree alongside her husband, Dewayne, hoping to shoot her first deer with a bow.
“Hunting is something we love doing together. We worked really hard this year getting ready for bow season,” Jenifer said.
In the previous years, Jenifer had several failed attempts at taking her first deer with a bow. In fact, she was so determined to kill a deer with a bow last season that she never even picked up her gun, electing to hunt with her bow.
As most bowhunters do, Jenifer spent most of this past summer flinging arrows at foam-filled mega bucks in the backyard. Jenifer also spent a lot of time with her husband on their family lease in Bartow County getting their stand locations ready for the upcoming season. Those of you who bowhunt know the amount of work it takes in the weeks leading up to opening day. As summer faded, the prep work was over. Jenifer was ready, and it was time to hunt.
Opening weekend of the 2018 season came and went without an opportunity. The following weekend, Jenifer sent a Gold Tip arrow flying just under a nice 8-pointer. It was a clean miss.
“It was a disappointment, but the adrenaline rush and the excitement of the hunt is what keeps me coming back,” Jenifer said.
Sometimes, things cause us to take drastic measures. The following Friday, Jenifer and Dewayne decided it was time to get Jenifer a new bow. A trip to the local bow shop landed Jenifer a brand new setup. She decided to go with the shorter Bowtech bow with an Apex sight. After rushing home that afternoon to get it sighted in, the gloves were off. It was yet again time to hunt.
Before daylight on Sept. 23, the winds were creating a problem. A southeasterly wind seemed to shut down the entire hunting lease. Of course, as we all do, we have all sorts of sets for a westerly wind but not too much for an east wind. There was, however, one stand set that would be perfect, and that’s exactly where Dewayne and Jenifer got seated before daylight with a light breeze in their faces.
To their surprise, it didn’t take long for the action to pick up. Deer were moving all around them just as it began to break daylight, but Jenifer couldn’t make out what any of them were. Minutes seemed like an eternity in the moments before good seeing light.
“After daybreak, the deer finally started to make their way to us,” said Jenifer said.
Amazingly the last-minute stand switch was fixing to pay off. A big 10-pointer quickly showed up in bow range.
“I knew he wasn’t going to get any closer, so I drew my arrow at 30 yards,” Jenifer recalled.
Dewayne was sitting a few feet away from Jenifer in the tree. He grunted to stop the deer in what he thought was the perfect opening. The husband and wife team were watching the buck from different angles, and the buck stopped on a dime. As you know, once the grunt card is played, a buck won’t typically just go back to feeding. This time was no different. The buck got edgy and was ready to bolt.
“I was settling in on my shot when my husband made a noise to stop him. He gets really excited, but it may have been a little too soon. I knew it was now or never,” Jenifer said as she turned an arrow loose.
This time, the Gold Tip found its mark, disappearing into a nice Bartow County buck just behind the shoulder. The buck bolted hard through the woods and into a field toward the property line. Dewayne and Jenifer tracked her buck all the way to the property line and had to stop. Dewayne called a longtime friend who had permission to be on the adjoining property. He showed up quickly and brought a couple of trackers to help in the recovery. They picked up the blood trail while Dewayne and Jenifer stayed behind on their lease.
“They helped us and didn’t hesitate one bit to go through thick brush or to even get wet trying to find my first buck. They showed true sportsmanship and what hunting is all about,” Jenifer said.
After recovering the buck from a nearby pond, they drug it back to the property line so Jenifer could claim her prize. Jenifer finally had her first Georgia buck in the grasp of her hands.
“When I finally laid my eyes on my first deer, I was thrilled and shocked,” said Jenifer. “He was much bigger than I ever imagined. I am so blessed to have gotten this opportunity and to make these memories with friends and family, which is what hunting is all about.”
There aren’t any guarantees in hunting. It is, in fact, all about the hunt and not just the harvest. Sometimes success comes quickly, but other times it takes a little while for a hunter to have everything line up and find success. Those days seem to make the outdoor world a little more special. The technical data of the hunt will fall victim to forgotten memory, but the story lasts forever. Some things in life are definitely worth the wait.
Jenifer’s first bow buck was a clean 10-pointer that grossed 133 4/8 inches and should make the 125-inch minimum net score for Pope & Young, the national record-keeping organization for bowhunters.
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