The Dead Zone

By Scott Faiman
Nevada, 2011, DIY, Public Land

Scott Faiman - The Dead ZoneJanuary/February 2012 EBJ (Issue 69) - Smartphones, e-mail, Facebook, texting, tweeting - let’s just call it what it is, unnecessary information overkill. Many embrace technology and what it has to offer, but I guess I have old school wiring because I spend most my time trying to avoid it. I believe this is why I have developed a passion for high country, DIY, backpack bowhunting. My favorite hunting spot just happens to be a cellular "dead zone”, how perfect. My son and I frequent this area every bow season – one-on-one time with your children is something I hold very close to my heart, and bow hunting is the best way I’ve found to experience it.

We have one small but manageable personality issue, my son is my polar opposite; texting and talking to his buddies as we hike up the ridge towards paradise. As we drop into the dead zone, his smile fades as mine broadens. When he finally concedes his signal is gone, he turns off the gadget, places it in his pocket and the hunt begins.

In the dead zone is where my mind is clear and my soul is healed, for without this uninterrupted place there would be a void. Every day spent on the mountain with Chris is cherished. When Chris was born one of my biggest hopes was that he would develop a passion for bowhunting. I believe his passion for the sport far exceeds my own at his age. Perseverance should be his middle name because when things get tough, he’s constantly reinventing the hunt and trying to figure out how to create an opportunity.

When opening day arrived we were ready, having already logged about 20 miles on our boots, setting up camp and packing in water. Unfortunately, we had next to nothing going our way. All the bucks we had been watching grow for years were nowhere to be found, but there was one glimmer of hope in the distance in the bottom of the drainage a day earlier. Three mule deer of unknown stature were seen feeding adjacent to their quaky patch bedding area. Chris decided working outside the box was needed in order to make something happen, so he headed down the mountain in an effort to intercept the bucks as they moved from their beds.

I thought his plan was a little hair-brained, but hey, what do I know? I was sure the evening downdrafts would give him away, so I told Chris I would head up the mountain to glass another basin. Just as I had reached the top of the ridge, I received a radio transmission that he had just arrowed a really good buck. He ranged the buck at 65 yards, told himself, "I can do this”, drew back his trusty old Razortec, and let the Spitfire fly. Its trajectory went exactly as he thought. With a solid hit, the big buck only travelled 20 yards and began to falter.

Scott Faiman - The Dead Zone

For a full account of Scott's adventure, go to page 40 in the January/February 2012 issue of Eastmans' Bowhunting Journal.