AJ Sypherd waited more than a year to harvest his first deer with a bow, but his second? That took decisively less time.
Sypherd, a freshman at Litchfield High School and the son of Rose and the late Mark Sypherd, had been patiently waiting for his first deer since getting his bow over a year ago, but the four-legged forrest dwellers had not been in range until Sunday, Nov. 1.
Sypherd was hunting with family friends Alex Joyce and Brad Saxby on Saxby’s family’s land. The trio had been in their stands for some time, when Joyce convinced Sypherd to wait a little longer.
Just after 5 p.m., within ten minutes of Joyce’s urging for an extension, deer number one finally entered the picture. A doe walked into range of Sypherd’s stand and the young hunter took the shot. The animal would run about 100 yards away before falling in a clearing.
Sypherd would wait a few moments and within five minutes of taking the doe, a buck followed another doe along the same path that the first doe had walked.
The quick turnaround left Sypherd off guard, but he was able to get a new arrow to his bow and fired off another shot, hitting the nine-point buck cleanly for a second harvest.
While the doe was easy to find, the buck was more of a challenge as it fell to the bottom of a creek bed in a small ravine. Still, with the help of Joyce and Saxby, Sypherd was able to get the animal to the truck, where it was dressed and taken for processing.
The meat from both deer is being processed and the buck will be mounted as a reminder of this special moment for Sypherd.
While the experience was an unforgettable one for the 14-year-old, it’s also a little bittersweet according to his mother, Rose.
“AJ’s father, Mark, passed away two years ago from liver cancer so this experience is extra emotional for AJ because his father couldn’t be here with him,” said Rose, who also has a 12-year-old daughter, Amanda. “But we have had so many friends and neighbors step up to teach him and help him as he grows into a wonderful young man!”
Friends like Joyce and Saxby, who will undoubtedly remember this day fondly as well.