Can you imagine what deer hunting would be like if you couldn’t hear an approaching whitetail—or become distracted by the sound of unseen fox squirrels crashing through the leaves behind your treestand?
Just thinking about it makes the tale of Sioux City, Iowa bowhunter Daniel Myers’ best-ever buck seem even more incredible.
That’s because Myers, 52, is deaf.
In one of the best feel-good hunting stories I’ve run across in some time, Sioux City Journal reporter Tim Gallagher met Myers last week at a gathering of hunters at Theo’s Steakhouse in Lawton, Iowa for the measuring of deer in the eating establishment’s annual Big Buck Contest.
_The point total surpasses the hunter’s expectations. In sign language, Myers uses his hands to show “horns” atop his head. He then wipes his chin and finishes the statement with a sign of thumb and pinkie outstretched.
“Buck. Best. Ever,” his daughter Jenny Christophersen interprets. “He’s hunted for 20 years and this is the best he’s gotten. He couldn’t wait to see how it scored. It’s better than he thought.”_
Gallagher writes that Myers practices his antler rattling technique with a friend so he can tell from the vibrations when he is hitting too hard or too soft.
Sioux City taxidermist John Bunch, who officially measured Myers’ 14-point buck at 182 7/8, said he is awed by the man’s skills and hunting prowess—using only his eyes.
“I bowhunt and when the squirrels make noise or the leaves rustle, you know a deer might be coming,” Bunch said. “I don’t know how Dan does it.”
And why does the deaf hunter choose to hunt with a bow, a method that limits his shooting range and shot opportunities?
“He likes to bowhunt because it is more challenging,” says his daughter. -J.R. Absher