Steedman hunter uses ingenuity to bag his deer

Brian Cheney harvests a doe at the beginning of deer season this year with archery equipment he made by hand.

Brian Cheney harvests a doe at the beginning of deer season this year with archery equipment he made by hand.

Covered in camouflage, sitting quietly in the thick of the woods for an unsuspecting deer to walk past, Brian Cheney waits.

The deer has to be close, within 20 yards, for him to even take aim. And the shot has to be perfect. If the moment isn’t just right, he doesn’t have a shot. Although many a hunter may be able to shoot and kill anything that comes into view, Cheney has to be more patient because of his weapon of choice — a handmade bow.

Over the summer, Cheney painstakingly carved a bow out of Osage wood, chipped flint rock for arrowheads and used cedar for the body of the arrows. All the archery equipment he used this deer season he made by hand, putting about 100 hours of labor into what he calls his “only hobby.”

“I just wanted to make everything myself one time,” Cheney says.

Cheney, a native of Callaway who resides in Steedman, explained that hunting has always been a part of his life.

“My dad was a bow hunter before I was born,” he relates. “I can’t even remember not having a bow in my hand.”

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