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.