Kelsey Lemmert grew up shooting competitive archery with a long bow in Oklahoma.
Her dad, Monty Beaty, got her into the sport and she enjoyed it until her teenage years when other things became more important.
Fast forward to four years ago and the Chandler resident started deer hunting with her husband, Clay, in Motley County. She instantly was hooked.
“It was really just being outside, the peace and quiet and nature,” she explained. It also gave the couple time away from their business, The Tire Barn.
But Kelsey didn’t return to her roots, the bow. She started hunting with a rifle and was successful taking a doe, a couple of bucks and a truckload of pigs the last three seasons.
After last season, however, she told her husband she would like to get a bow and tie the hunting she has learned to enjoy with the archery she grew up with. She didn’t go completely primitive with a long bow, opting instead for a Bear Home Wrecker compound bow. She immediately started practice, and after taking the summer off to escape the heat, she was in the backyard again several times a week for the past month getting ready for last Saturday’s archery season opener.
It was like riding a bike. The skills she learned from her dad didn’t disappear. They had been sitting dormant with her bow.
“I wanted to get a hog or doe. Those were my expectations going out there,” Lemmert said.
In reality, she started this year a little better.
Last season game cameras on the 640-acre lease picked up a nice 8-point buck that was traveling with a 9-pointer around the area Lemmert and one other hunter hunted.
“We saw him on camera, but we never saw him while hunting,” she said, adding one morning last season while hunting alone for the first time she took an 8-pointer thinking it was him.
“I learned about ground shrinkage that morning.”
The lease is primarily a cotton field with a brushy area on one end where the deer stay. Not seeing the buck throughout the season, hunters on the lease assumed someone on a neighboring property probably took him.
The cameras went back up on the lease about two weeks ago, and the two bucks were back in the same area they had been a year earlier. The 9-point was still a 9. The 8-point was still a main frame 8, but had added some kickers, forked tines and a crab claw making him much more interesting.
“He was coming to the feeder morning and night. He had been there the morning before,” Lemmert said.
Knowing she would be hunting this season from a tripod, Lemmert had practiced shooting sitting down, but not from an elevated stand. The day before the season opened she and her husband went to the stand so she could take a couple of shots and get accustomed to shooting down.
That night, however, it rained and what had been clear shooting lanes the day before was blocked by low-hanging tree limbs opening morning. It was too late to trim the limbs so she took the stand and hoped for the best. Within an hour activity picked up.
“I saw the 9-point come out first and I got excited because I knew he would be with him,” Lemmert said.
He was, standing within easy shooting range.
“I had him at 20 yards, but I didn’t feel comfortable with the shot with the branches hanging down,” she said.
Lemmert held on with the bow at full draw as long as she could before she was shaking so bad she had to let down and rest.
“Then he walked right under my stand into the open. I had a clear view of him at nine to 12 yards,” she said.
Once again she started to get in position for a shot, but heard a deer approaching from behind her stand. She knew from that angle the incoming deer had a clear view of her and was afraid it might spook the two bucks if she didn’t hurry and get the shot off.
“I pulled back and tried not to look at the horns,” Lemmert said.
She immediately knew it was a good shoot, and watched as the buck ran a short distance, then turned and started walking toward water and disappeared from sight.
“I was breathing so hard. I was trying to text Clay and text my dad, but cell service is bad out there. I waited for an hour before I went looking for him. He was huge,” she said, noting this time there was no ground shrinkage on the deer.
The 12-point buck was scored for the Texas Big Game Awards program at 166 2/8 gross and 158 2/8 net.
Although her rifle is currently back in the closet, Lemmert expects to have it out later in the season when it gets too cold to sit on the stand for long.
This success has her also thinking about pulling out her old long bow and trying it on a few hunts in the future.
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