Boys Will Be Boys

TOOL Scoped Crossbow, RANGE 25 yds, WIND 5 mph, right to left

Hold on to your camo hat, because this is about to get very interesting. I’m sitting beside my 10-year-old son, Elliott, and thanks to Wisconsin’s forward-thinking Mentored Hunting Program, he’s able to pursue whitetails before enrolling in a hunter education course; he’ll take the course when he’s 12. I’m carrying only a camera.

It’s opening day of the firearm’s season, but because Elliott doesn’t like the loud bang of guns, he’s chosen a crossbow, which is resting on a tripod. This wide-racked 4x4 was quietly sneaking past our pop-up blind, and Elliott had already slipped off the crossbow’s safety, when buck No. 2 came running in to crash the party.

“What should I do?” Elliott whispers, looking a bit confused.

“Take this close one,” I whisper back. “Right over the leg. You can do it, buddy.”

Thankfully, Elliott and I have spent many sessions looking over photos of whitetails in magazines and online, so he knows that the proper place to hit a broadside deer with an arrow is directly over the front leg, not behind it. The smaller foreground tree is not in play—it’s covering the buck’s liver and paunch.

All summer and early fall, Elliott has been practicing with a Carbon Express Covert SLS, or as I like to call it, his “Santa Special” because it arrived Christmas 2012. The innovative crossbow has tons of adjustability in the stock, so it fits him perfectly.

Elliott is once again focused on the cross-hairs. Fat lady—start singing.

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