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Archery Opportunities

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Well folks, the last weekend of archery season has come and gone here in Zone C, as established by our Florida Wildlife Commission. It’s kinda sad, but not entirely. There are still archery opportunities aplenty if you know where to look.

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For instance, the last weekend of Zone C was coincidentally the opening weekend for Zone B, which comprises Pasco, Polk, Manatee, and Hillsborough Counties with just a tiny portion of our Hernando County; the portion east of I-75. None of those counties are a very far drive at all to gain a little more season to bow hunt as the Zone B archery season runs right up until November 16.

Thus far, I can tell you, I’ve had a great season. I’ve been guiding a handful of disabled hunters, hoping to assist them in being successful. Five of them got arrows into four critters, putting two does and two turkeys in their coolers for their families. The fifth guy has taken three shots, his arrows only seem to want to strike the ground underneath them. But, we’re working on that.

I’ve even enjoyed a few solo hunts myself. On October 5, my late daddy’s birthday, I carried my new Black Hunter, takedown recurve, to a farm just east of Brooksville and arrowed a fat doe for my own freezer. I had inserted myself into a large brush pile for cover and shortly after daylight, I sat quietly as a group of seven does passed by me at thirty yards out. I sat talking with Jesus and asking him to tell my daddy happy birthday for me while remembering so many great hunts we’d shared. Then later that morning I spotted two more does on the same trail set to pass me by at thirty yards.

Well folks, hunting with a recurve bow, I greatly prefer to have my shot opportunities inside twenty yards. So, I made two doe bleats with my voice. The lead doe stopped and stared at the brush pile, then turned and walked over to meet the new deer she had just heard. The doe passed me at ten yards, on my right side. I can’t shoot a bow off of my right side. I expected her to return to her companion the same way, but soon caught movement in my last peripheral vision.

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That doe walked all the way around the brush pile looking for the deer she thought she had heard, and stopped broadside at seven short steps, facing away looking at the other deer. I slowly drew my bow and my arrow struck perfectly.

Once the adrenaline subsided, I went to recover my doe, which turned out to be an easy job. She’d only run a hundred yards with a very easy to follow trail of blood. Yes indeed, it’s been a great season, thus far.

I sure do appreciate y’all taking the time to visit with me here at the Hernando Sun Newspaper. If you have any questions or comments, reach out to me at [email protected] God Bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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