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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November 11, 2008

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Mission Accomplished

    I'm psyched to be posting two bow kills from among our competent ranks in two days! Following Jan's javelina yesterday, our own Paula Smith just sent me this photo and great story about her hunt last weekend. Congrats, Paula! -K.H.


     As a follow up to the article on "Field Goals" & "Risky Business" I wanted to let you know that I have attained one of those goals. Saturday night I shot a doe with my bow: second shot at an animal with my bow, first time I hit target. 
     It was getting dark and I was ready to pack it in when I saw a doe come out of the woods across the field from me. She made a beeline across the field and stood right in front of my stand (divine intervention?) 17 yards away. I lifted my bow and she looked my way but not up and then continued to eat.  When I drew, she looked again and I couldn't tell if she spotted me or not as there was not much light. (I did think, cripes now I have to shoot you before you go tell all your friends where my stand is). I sighted her in and shot and she tore ass across the field back into the woods where she came from. I sat there for 15 minutes or so cursing myself out for missing, thinking it was probably too dark for the shot. You see, I have never seen a bow kill, and was expecting a similar reaction as I got when I shoot a deer with a rifle -- they fall over. 
     I got down and proceeded looking for my arrow with a flashlight, still cursing myself out. I spotted my arrow standing straight up out of the ground and knew I blew it. Grabbed the arrow and went OH YUK!, I had talked myself into the fact that I missed and didn't even check the arrow. It had gone through the deer.
     I went back to camp not sure what to do next but I did know that I should wait, so I did and drove back out with a spotlight about 2 hours later. As soon as I walked in the woods and shined the spotlight I could see her (dead) at the top of the hill. My entrance shot was on the money; the exit wound was back further than I would have liked. 
     Now the work begins. Since nobody was around anywhere, I did drag her out, then towed her to camp. I couldn't lift her into the bed of my truck no matter how much I tried. I then gutted the deer by the headlights, and got her hung and skinned. Then I slept at camp with a spotlight on her so the coyotes wouldn't come and eat it, and then butchered it up in the morning.
     I'm happy to report that I did not have a heart attack, but every muscle ached from head to toe and I about sliced off my finger sharpening my knife :(  I was proud of myself not only for the good kill but for everything that needed to be done afterward. I did it, not perfectly by any means, but I got the job done and this is the first time I have done everything from beginning to end (deer hunting) all by myself.
     She's not a trophy but she certainly was my top goal for my first archery season. Now I can concentrate on turkey hunting unless I see a nice buck!


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WAY TO GO, PAULA!!!! Maybe not a trophy in the true sense of the word, but in my book, THAT's A TROPHY....and a hunt I guarantee you'll never forget! I'm proud of you, too!


Ah thanks Jan, you got me choked up there :} You are right, I will never forget this hunt and yes it will always be one of my "trophys" My eldest son's words - "Wow, Way to go Mom, I'm so proud of you" have made this that much more special.

Lou Alexander

Paula, words of wisdom from a good friend of mine.. . .Any deer taken with a bow is a trophy! Everything has to be perfect, and the stars alingned just right and perhaps your tongue just so for you to get that shot off, let alone nail the target. Congrats!

Laura Bell

CONGRATS PAULA!! Very Happy For You!
Antlers or not, that is still a trophy! Anything you set your sights on and get, is a trophy in my book. A Doe's backstraps are much more tender than a bucks anywho. Toss in a frying pan and pour on some seasoning and it's delicious!
Congrats Again!


That is a great moment to moment description of what you saw and felt in your bow hunt. I am very happy for you Paula.


Women can do it...YES we can! ;)


Congrats Paula!!

Trust me, I've only shot a doe with my bow, and it feels better than shooting a buck with a rifle!!


Paula way to go! And I'm very impressed that you took care of her all by yourself. I should add that to my "goals". I've actually never dressed out a deer before. :(


Congrats, ladies! Last time I rope-dragged a deer out of the woods by myself, by the time I got to the truck I swore I would never hunt again. But, you're right back into the woods again. Says a lot about you, Kim! By the way, I was dragging another deer out a week later, but this time with a sled.

Firearms opener in Michigan is just 2 days away! Just realized that I have never seen a woman deer hunting in the north woods (only bird hunting). Would love to see more women out there. Start your own camps if the guys don't invite you.

NorCal Cazadora

Great story, Paula! And congrats on handling the heavy lifting solo.


Thank you all for the congrats and words of encouragement they have made this hunt even more special to me. I have printed them out and will put them in my hunting book along with the picture of my doe. You all are awesome!


Oops! Just realized the story was about Paula and not Kim. That's what I get for working while I am reading. Congrats Paula! By the way, guys just love women that drive trucks.


LOL Thanks Mike, good to know that I'm a guy magnet too! :]


Congrats Paula!!!! Dragging and then butchering that deer all by yourself was awesome!! I have had to do both and the dragging is definitely not easy. I end up skinning and cutting up my own der every year, and that is something I love because to me that is the final act and it is awesome to finish it yourself.

Kimberly Hiss

I've said it before, but I'll say it again -- I love our blog! What a fantastic and supportive group of people. All those good vibes can only mean good things when we hit the woods. -K.H.


Mike said - "Firearms opener in Michigan is just 2 days away! Just realized that I have never seen a woman deer hunting in the north woods (only bird hunting). Would love to see more women out there."

Really Mike? I'm a Michigander born and raised and have been deer hunting since I was 14 (when it was legal). I've heard of a lot more ladies who deer hunt than any other kind of hunting. Now if only I could find another lady waterfowler near me!

Judy Black

Congratulations Paula. Any harvest is a trophy, the size does not matter.
When I took my first bear with my bow I told everyone ...he was not the bigget bear in Alberta but he was the best.
Happy hunting


Congratulations Paula!! Your doe sure is a trophy! The trophy isn't in the antlers - it's in the hunt! Proud of you! Killed my 1st deer ever last yr w/ muzzleloader. 1st rifle doe this yr on opening day. 1st buck ever on Sat aft. Only 7" spike horn & 135 lbs dressed (little disappointed with the lack of size) but he was tough! By the time I dragged him home I was almost glad he wasn't any bigger. I know what you mean about no one there to help. Amazing what you can do when you're the only 1 there to do it huh? Hoping to finally tag my 1st bow deer next season - missed my only shot this year. ): But at least found my arrow & knew she wasn't injured. Took 2 morn's of searching before work & a friend's metal detector to find the arrow in a hay field. Kinda funny now - she blew when I shot & I jumped higher than she did! Glad she made it. There's always next year to try again. Happy Hunting!!