Crossbow Permit Unlocks Hunting Opportunity
A Disabled Hunter Was Able to Kill a World Record Whitetail Thanks to Regulations That Allowed Crossbow Use
By Mark LaBarbera
Defeating adversity has become the norm for Wisconsin’s Jimmy Spataro. All through his wife Linda’s near-death experience, her slow recovery and his own battle with fibromyalgia, Jimmy always kept a smile on his face and managed to find a way to help the people around him. Even when the pain of fibromyalgia forced him to give up his passion for playing golf, Jimmy was determined to find a new sport to fill the void. He wanted it to be a life-long sport he could enjoy outdoors, alone or with friends; something that could be rewarding, yet always offer new challenges and levels of greater proficiency. So it was no surprise when Jimmy embraced his long-time friend Michael Enea’s recommendation to take up bowhunting. Michael had extra equipment and spent time teaching Jimmy about bowhunting for deer.
Too soon, though, Jimmy discovered he did not have the strength to draw and hold a bow string of sufficient draw weight to efficiently kill deer.
Jimmy’s debilitating condition qualified him for a DNR permit time to hunt with a crossbow, the design of which provided enough power for Jimmy to successfully kill deer.
Jimmy killed several deer using his crossbow, but he was still waiting to bag a buck … until the afternoon of Nov. 15, 2010.
UPDATE: Jimmy Spataro’s buck has been officially scored by SCI at 213-1/8 inches, making it the top crossbow kill ever recorded by SCI for a northeastern whitetail typical buck. It was measured by John Hoffmann.
Jimmy packed his supplies and headed to a tree stand on a neighbor’s property. He strategically placed doe scent and climbed into his tree stand. Next, Jimmy let out some grunts and shook his rattle bag, hoping to entice any bucks that might have been nearby.
After about an hour, Jimmy considered heading home. It was clouding over, and he was beginning to feel the painful effects of fibromyalgia.
Just then, a big buck appeared over a ridge 30 yards away, nose in the air.
Jimmy began to stand up, but worried the buck would see his movement. He remained in an awkward half standing position that put his sore muscles to the test.
The crossbow began to feel heavier as Jimmy waited for the buck to present a shot. Finally, the deer moved into a clearing 8-10 feet wide. This was Jimmy’s only shot.
He fired the arrow and heard it hit the buck. The animal only ran about 30 yards before Jimmy heard him crash.
Jimmy called friends to help him field dress the deer and bring it back to hang in Jimmy’s garage. There, they measured 18 antler points. That’s when it finally started to sink in — this buck was huge.
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