Young bowhunter takes traditional route

Zane Harris, 11, has found success deer hunting with his recurve bow. (Courtesy photo)

Many young hunters will be hitting the deer woods for the first time this fall, but one young hunter has been making his mark since the opening morning of archery season.

Zane Harris, an 11-year old from Powhatan in Lawrence County, has already taken one deer with his recurve bow earlier this year. Killing deer with a bow is a challenge for anyone, but going the full traditional archery route at only 11 years old is nothing short of remarkable.

Zane killed his first deer only six days after turning six years old in 2018, according to his father Cody. That deer and many others after it would fall to a modern gun in the youth hunter's hands. He also has taken multiple deer with a crossbow during archery seasons.

Last year, Zane wanted to take his hunting game to the next level, saying that he was ready for a traditional bow.

"My wife and I both hunt with compound bows, but Zane said he wanted to try bowhunting with a recurve," Cody Harris said. "He's dedicated and put in the time to get good with his recurve before he went hunting with it last year."

That practice paid off when Zane managed to kill not one, but three deer using his recurve bow last year.

"He shoots a bow that has 45 pounds of draw weight at 28 inches, but because his draw length is still pretty short, it pulls about 37 pounds of weight," Harris said. "We set him up with heavy arrows and cut-on-contact fixed blade broadheads. The setup worked great on all three deer last year and his first deer this year. The arrow went completely through each of the four deer he has shot with the bow and led to good harvests."

Don't worry about Zane's old crossbow, though. It still sees plenty of use from his 9- year-old brother, Owen, who checked a nice 8-point buck during archery season, and their youngest brother, Graham, who is following in the family's footsteps of taking a deer in his first archery season at the age of 6.