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More work, more reward

Kevin Fasen recorded a grand slam of three deer in three states while shooting a 48-pound recurve bow. He shot a non-typical buck that field dressed over 200 pounds on Oct. 16., near Chamberlain, S.D. Submitted photo

SPICER -- Three times Kevin Fasen has hunted the African continent, but a trio of Midwestern states has made possible the hunting accomplishment that he is most proud.

In the last couple of months Fasen has harvested one deer each in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, the latter state producing a 10-point, non-typical buck that field-dressed at over 200 pounds.

What made this grand slam so special is that each deer was taken using a 48-pound, traditional recurve bow.

A bow hunter for more than 30 years, Fasen, of Spicer, decided about nine years ago to take up the challenge of shooting a traditional bow in place of a modern compound.

Traditional bows cannot match the velocity or range offered by compound bows, and their accuracy must be earned. Shooting is by instinct. It requires lots and lots of practice to achieve consistent accuracy.

"Lots of people just don't have the time,'' said Fasen.

By the same token, lots of people never know the adventures he finds with his recurve.

To pursue his deer in South Dakota, Fasen pitched a tent near the Missouri River near Chamberlain and camped out for five days.

For him, that's what it's all about: Being outdoors and enjoying the wild.

Fasen said he's probably taken more big deer with his Black Widow recurve than any of the far more powerful compounds he had formerly used.

The recurve has forced him to become a much better hunter. He needs to be within close range to fire a recurve and score a clean, lethal hit.

He estimates that 90 percent of his shots have been within 10 yards, but there is one exception. The big buck in South Dakota was 12 yards away when he drew, fired and missed.

The big buck gave him another opportunity at 24 yards. Fasen took it, instantly downing the animal with a strike to the heart.

And Fasen? His heart was pumping as wildly as if it were his first deer ever. There is one thing about hunting with a recurve, according to Fasen. The challenge makes every success as exciting as the one before.

Tom Cherveny

Tom Cherveny is a regional and outdoor reporter with the West Central Tribune in Willmar, MN.

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