About The Author


Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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October 30, 2008

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Field Goals

     A big congrats to the Phillies, and to all you Philadelphia fans who phinally claimed a world series title last night!

     Of course, something like winning a championship game is the achievement of a major -- and in many cases -- lifelong goal for players and fans alike. But we all set more modest goals for ourselves as well -- personal achievements that won't draw TV crews and world name recognition, but that are deeply gratifying nonetheless.

     You may have seen this recent hometown story out of Dotyville, Wisconsin about an 89-year-old named Delores Wilhelms, who harvested a buck with her late husband-and-hunting-partner's crossbow. According to this FDLReporter story, Wilhelms had to suffer through a few snickers from salespeople when she got her hunting license, who mocked her age. But no matter, on Oct. 15, she harvested a 150-pound, 3-point buck from a blind on a neighbor's property.

     Wilhelms' husband Bill had passed away in 2006. Although she's recently begun wanting to return to their cabin "up north," she didn't want to make the drive alone, and had trouble finding someone who could take her. After a neighbor solved the problem by inviting her to hunt his land, even a deep cut on her thumb during target practice that landed her in the emergency room couldn't keep Wilhelms from heading out to the blind. She missed her buck the first day she saw him, but got him at 5:45 the following evening. "It's a thrill, I tell you," she told the paper. "I hope God lets me live long enough to do it again next year."

     Many of us have field goals for ourselves -- a trip to Africa, a grand slam, a dream elk hunt, or even just a safe season spent with family and friends. From past achievements to currrent works in progress, what are some of yours? -K.H. 

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Comments

Lou Alexander

I can't imagine the day that I lose my hunting partner and best friend. I'd like to think that after that day I will be like Deloris and head back out to the field at 89 years young.

My main goal right now it to actually get something with my bow, I'm not picky right now, I just want to see some backstrap in the freezer. Missed a doe on Sunday, sigh, guess I'd better practice ALOT more.

Jan

What a wonderful story! I just know her late husband Bill was cheering her on, and ever so proud of her! Made me a little sad to think that I might be Delores one day. Like Lou, I can't imagine that loss!

I've been sidelined for a couple of weeks due to surgery, and can't do any bow hunting until I'm all healed up....believe me that's tough! I had been practicing every day, had all the stands up and ready, and actually got to go 3 times before my gallbladder decided to go into attack mode. Right now, my goal is just to be able to get back in the field!!! My hubby has taken a doe and a buck so I'm putting meat in the freezer, but I really wanted it to say "Jan's deer Oct.'08" on the packages! (Whine, whine!)

Laura Bell

That's one tough lady! Way To Go to her!

I too, want to get something with the bow. I've been at this Bow hunting game for a couple years now, and it just hasn't come together. I've upped my game this year by getting a couple treestands, hunting more, and it is paying off. I've been seeing more deer and have had Does and Fawns in range. However, those Does have not been very big and the fawns might have only been 50lbs max. I really, really want my first Bow kill, but I just can't take that small a fawn or leave that small of a fawn without a mother. Only 120"+ bucks are game, as I believe the young guys should have time to grow up.
I guess I'm pretty picky when it comes to deer hunting, been ragged on about it plenty of times, but I'm perfectly happy with tag soup as the result of it.

Paula

Wow, I hope I will still be heading out to hunt at 89, Delores sounds like quite a lady. Those clerks should be ashamed, at least her neighbor believed in her and gave her the opportunity. I hunt most of the time by myself, my hunting buddy and close friend makes it every couple of weeks, so I would miss him terribly if something happened to him, but I would continue to hunt as I do now.

Jan how awful for you! You'll just have to make up for it when you are feeling better and I hope that is soon!

I'm with Lou and Laura Bell, this is my first time archery hunting, first time in a tree stand, so at the moment, I would like to get something (legal) with my bow. A big plus is that I have finally gotten into a tree stand (YIKES!) and I'm a freaking shaking lunatic until I am sure that strap is tight around the tree and I'm secure. I have lots of goals though, I would love to get a good size buck, a big tom,(turkey opens tomorrow) I'd like to shoot that coyote, I do believe he will be the new state record! Then there's the stripped bass making there way back from up north, I would like to land a few keepers for the freezer. Another goal would be to be able to afford a housekeeper, personal secretary, chauffer for my son, not to mention enough money so I don't have to work, etc so I can just go hunt and fish.

Mainly I just love being out there and do so at every free opportunity (leaving work early today :}) and I normally come in happy whether I saw anything or not.

Andrea Johnson

This story truly warmed my heart. I am a 36-year-old widow, who hunts (successfully!) with her late husband-and-hunting partner’s 30.06. Though many years younger than Delores, I can relate to the wanting and needing to return to our property “up north,” not wanting to make the drive alone, and seeking out new places and people to hunt with, because we have no other choice if we want to stay active and continue to hunt. I lost my husband in 2004. Since that time, I have done quite a bit of hunting in new ways I hadn’t imagined. With groups of women throughout Florida, with friends in Michigan, with my father-in-law right next to me...I am looking forward to this hunting season, and continuing to take steps in new directions. I plan to hunt with a good friend who has been asking me for four years to join her and her family for a weekend. I have other plans to hog hunt locally because I decided to finally get up the nerve and ask for access to land that is owned by a friend. I am hunting with the women’s group I am a member of up in North Florida at the beginning of 2009. I want to spend more time “up north” and with family this year, in the woods. I plan to spend more time in the field with my hunting dogs. I have many opportunities, and I hope some new ones pop up along the way.

More than anything, I want to continue to be brave in my journey and continue to grow as a hunter. I admire Delores for her strength and courage. One would think that an 89-year-old widow and a 36-year-old widow don’t have much in common other than the obvious loss of a spouse, but this story for me was an inspirational one that reminded me of other common bonds.

Judy Black

First of all, congratulations Shannon. I know you are going to love your new Filson jacket.
I was the gear winner a couple of weeks ago and my gear bag arrived on Friday. It is awesome!!!
I am so excited as it will be my new carry on when we travel to and from our hunts.
Thank you Kim and Filson for giving me the honor of owning such a quality product.
This story touched my heart too as my husband is my best hunting buddy. He has been right there with me when I have taken my trophys and has shared in the joys of the harvest. He was right there next to me when my arrow flew OVER THE TOP of an elk on my recent dream hunt. I pray he will be with me on my next.
I haven't ventured on a hunt without him but would love to maybe try it. I think to hunt with a group of women would be the coolest.
The harvest of an elk with my bow continues to be at the top of my list of things to do. I came close twice this fall and told the outfitter to expect us back. It is a goal that I have set for myself and pray that one day I will accomplish it.
Happy hunting ladies. Be sure to let all of us know your sucess. I look forward to the stories, whether you harvest or not there is an awesome story to tell.
Jude

Shannon

That's such a cool story!

I have a few goals. Long term would be the hunt of a lifetime in Africa. I don't see that happening anytime soon however.

In the meantime I have some, what should be very simple, goals.

1)I want to drop a duck in flight that I know is mine. I've passed on some shots easy shots this year, because I didn't want to screw things up for the rest of the hunting party. After talking to my husband and his brother, I've been told, don't worry about them, just shoot! Okay, next time I will. Hopefully I get the chance to, before it freezes up. Darn deer season, interupting duck season! ;)

2) Drop a deer this weekend, during Michigan's firearm season. I'd love a buck, but I'm not picky, we just need meat for the freezer.

3) Spring turkey! I missed a nice tom, last spring and I REALLY would like to get one this year.