CELERYVILLE — “My brother, Cory, had seen him in another area so we moved to that area that day with the hope one of us would get a shot. It was Cory who sent him my way.”
That’s how Willard High School freshman Elizabeth Fried described the preparation and end result that would lead to her bagging the 10-point buck in early November, a kill that won the youth category in the Mansfield News Journal-Sportsman’s Den North Central Ohio Big Buck contest.
Buckeye Big Buck Club judges scored the deer at 158 3/8 points. It won Fried a $600 gift certificate from The Sportsman’s Den.
Like in the classroom where the daughter of Sara and Randy Fried is a top-notch student, Fried did her homework prior to bow season.
“Cory, my 22-year-old brother, and I enjoy spending time in the woods,” Fried said. “After several trips, we know where the deer are running. My preference is hunting from above rather than on the ground but where we believed the buck was, we did not have a tree stand. Some of that prize money will go toward the purchase of a second one.
It was her fourth deer and second with the cross bow. Proving her versatility, Fried shot one with a shotgun and other with a muzzle loader. This shot came from 15-yards away. The deer dropped 60 yards from where it was hit.
“I wanted to make sure I hit a killing spot so I waited until I had a clear shot at 15 yards,” she said. “The arrow caught the heart and the lung.”
Did she field dress the dear?
“No. Thank goodness Cory does that for me,’’ Fried said. “I can handle the shooting and I like venison, but I leave the bloody work to my brother."
Fried also enjoys hunting with coon hounds at night with her father and brother.
“The basketball curfew limits how long I can stay out though,” she said. “I love basketball as well as fast-pitch softball,” she said. “I divide time between pitching and playing shortstop in the spring. It’s a toss-up though between the team sports and spending time in the woods. There is something special about spending time out in nature.”
And round ball is the current sport for the Fried.
Although just a freshman, Barry Pfahl has her elevated to the varsity squad.
“Elizabeth is a great kid,” Pfahl said. “Not only is she a solid student, she is also a fine athlete and apparently a heck of a shot. She comes by both naturally. Her family is both athletic as well as a hunting family.”
Pfahl sees hunting and basketball going well together.
“You need discipline and patience to be successful as a hunter and those are attributes that are also necessary in team sports such as basketball,’’ he said. “Elizabeth is hard-working and pays attention to detail.”
Fried appears to have successfully made the huge leap from junior high basketball to the varsity level.
A perimeter shooter, she is just under 40 percent as a three-point shooter. Little wonder she has no trouble hitting a target as big as a 200-pound buck.