Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE -

the start of hunting sea­son,” she rea­soned.

The bal­ance on the bow was more than $ 100.

“Some­one at the store called and told me a man came in and paid off my bow,” she said, still amazed more than a year later.

To this day, she doesn’t know the name of her bene­fac­tor.

On that first hunt, sit­ting in her stand in cam­ou­flage clothing with pink ac­cents and a blaze or­ange vest, she did kill a young doe and gave the meat to a feed­ing min­istry.

“I told God, ‘ If you al­low me to get a deer and it’s a good kill, I’ll do­nate it,’” she re­called.

While she had no suc­cess from a hunting stand­point this year, the spunky 60- year- old said she en­joyed her time in the deer stand on pri­vate land in the Havre de Grace area.

“I saw a lit­tle doe walk by. It was so cute ... eat­ing its way through,” Tester­man said.

Although other hun­ters have told her young deer meat tastes best, Tester­man said she couldn’t shoot the animal this time. Mo­ments later, a sec­ond deer came near and lay down. Be­fore she could get a good enough look to see if it was in­jured, the doe stood again and walked in her di­rec­tion.

“It was a lit­tle more ma­ture. It was sniff­ing the air,” she said. “A leaf fell. She looked up and saw me.”

Tester­man de­cided at that mo­ment to let the deer pass.

“Let them grow up. Let them be there next year,” she said.

She learned how to bow hunt with help from her niece’s hus­band and it was her hus­band Joe who helped her work on her ac­cu­racy.

“My hus­band bought me a tar­get that shows the kill zone,” she said. She used the life- sized fake deer to make sure she would make a clean kill.

The lessons in­cluded weapon safety, how the cross­bow works and re­spect for the land and other hun­ters, she said.

Hers is a fam­ily that hunts and fishes but also one that gives back.

“We do catch and re­lease, but we also keep and share,” she said, not­ing she once took a rock­fish to a fam­ily who was griev­ing.

Shar­ing also means men­tor­ing fel­low hun­ters. For ex­am­ple, Tester­man re­cently loaned her tar­get to a young neigh­bor.

“I’m 60 years old. Here’s this gal that’s 20 and I know of an­other in her 50s and an­other is 33. Man! We should start a hunting club ( for women),” Tester­man said.

Next on her bucket list is salmon fish­ing in Alaska. She fig­ures that’s a cou­ple years away af­ter her hus­band re­tires.

As she sat in her stand Satur­day morn­ing, Tester­man heard sev­eral dozen shots fire in the dis­tance. She knows how to use a firearm, but Tester­man prefers the cross­bow for deer hunting.

“I wasn’t so sure about be­ing up in a deer stand with a gun,” she said.

But sit­ting in the stand gave her a good view of the land around her.

“I just en­joy be­ing out there with geese fly­ing every­where and red tail hawks,” she said. “We need to take time to en­joy as many things as we can.”


Look­ing through her scope, Sandy Tester­man shows how she uses her pink and black cam­ou­flage cross­bow to hunt deer.

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