The early archery deer season in the units along the Mogollon Rim is now history and hopefully you had a chance to be in the woods with your bow in hand.
A number of quality whitetail bucks were harvested during the three-week season by local hunters who did their homework prior to the actual hunt.
Longtime resident, Willy Ingram, who graduated from Payson High School in 1986 and currently owns and operates Golden Rule Surveying, carried out his strategy and harvested a 112-inch trophy whitetail. With these measurements, this deer will go into the Arizona record book as well as the coveted Pope and Young.
Preseason scouting was very important and his son Liam and daughter Carlie often accompanied Dad on numerous trips in Unit 22.Scouting trips are a great way to create a real appreciation of the outdoors for children, and I might add, strengthen the bonds of the family unit.
Their goal was to find the right spot to place that tree-stand where a deer mightome by within shooting range. His close friend, Duane Long, gave him the ultimate tip that made the difference!
After six days of waiting patiently, the moment of opportunity happened at 32 yards, when the trophy animal presented a broadside shot. When everything comes together for an archer all those hours and days of preparation pay a big dividend. For Willy, it was his fifth buck with a bow and no doubt, a personal record which will be hard to beat.
Willy Ingram's successful archery deer hunt reminds me of the famous quote of Thomas Jefferson that I used for 28 years of coaching wrestling. "The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Seem To Be." If you have a fall hunt, start planning now if you haven't already begun. This weekend, enjoy the Arizona outdoors, God's creation.