A Bowhunter is Born

Tanner Hanes arrows his first ever big game animal, on film no less.

After weeks of bowhunting...hours in the treestand, passing up bucks (two slam dunk forkys on film), blowing it on monsters, being frustrated, excited and let down seemingly all at the same time, Tanner got it done tonight on a nice young spike buck. A blacktail, any blacktail, can be tough to tag with a bow, especially with the never-blinking-eye of a Canon High Def video camera catching every intense, agonizing and memorable second. Tonight, Tanner made like a cagey veteran and delivered a picture a perfect shot with his Hoyt AlphaMax. He had some real smokers in bow range but we just could not make it happen. Check out the trail cam pic of this big four point catching him drawing at which time of course he bolted!!!
That was last Sunday and we were 10 yards from him...Tanner was seconds from arrowing him...a buck of a life time for about anyone on the planet!
That was crushing. He turned and said to me as I zoomed the camera in on his face, ripe with anguish, "Dad, why didn't you grunt or do something to stop him!" So close, yet so far away. Yes, he learned first hand what I have learned thousands of times over…bowhunting is not easy, which is of course why we love it so.

This capped a big weekend for Tan Man -- just last night at the Dufur Classic basketball tournament, his high school team won the championship game and he led all scorers with 25 points on 6 for 10 from three point range, 1 two point bucket and 5 for 6 from the free throw line. Just being a sophomore he is learning on the fly, as is the rest of his team. They start three sophs, including Tanner, and have some big shoes to fill as Mohawk won the state championship last year. Early in the season they are now 4-0 and were ranked 7th in state in the pre-season coaches poll. They are sure to move up after beating a couple of quality teams in this most recent tournament.

On the way back from arrowing his deer tonight, I dropped him off at Mac Court in Eugene so he could watch the Oregon Ducks beat Kansas State 75-70.
That is a full couple of days as we had to bomb home after Tanner's basketball team won the Classic championship last night in Dufur....the four hour drive put us home at about 11, in bed at about midnight, up at 5:00 a.m. and in the treestand at about 6:15 a.m. after a short night's sleep.

I am proud of Tanner for all his accomplishments this weekend in basketball, in the hunting woods, but mostly because he is a good, hardworking kid. I can’t wait for our next hunt together.
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