Tom Miranda: Memories and Goals

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  • Miranda’s Most Memorable Hunt and 2016 Goal

    SCHEELS Professional Bow Hunter

Most Memorable Hunt

I actually have a long list of very exciting and memorable hunts. Sure a few stand out like my first Alaskan brown bear where the bear walked into bow range and stood up on his back legs and stared me down or even my last brown bear where the cameraman dropped the camera as the bear charged into 20 yards where I arrowed him in the chest. My Stone sheep hunt in British Columbia, considered the toughest wild sheep to take with a bow; I arrowed mine on the first day of the hunt, first time up the mountain. Firsts are always special. I went on five leopard hunts to finally arrow one and five moose hunts before arrowing one. In fact, I consider moose the most “under-rated” big game hunt in North America. Hunting the Bezoar Ibex in Turkey or an African bull elephant might be some of the toughest bow hunts on the planet.

But I think my Bighorn sheep hunt in the Canmore bow zone of Alberta would be my most memorable hunt to date.

Picture the Canadian Rockies in November at 10,000 feet elevation. There’s two feet of snow and wind chill’s in the minus 40 degree range. My guide Chad Lenz, cameraman Jeff Parker and I were tent camping and hunting the elusive rams. This hunt is challenging because the mountain is steep, snow makes it slippery and the temperature is freezing. It was a constant battle to keep from sweating under heavy clothes when climbing the mountains and to keep from freezing to death once making it to the top. We saw rams, in fact I had shots and missed. It can be very dejecting to hike, climb, sweat and freeze to finally get an opportunity – then not capitalize on it. There were times when I wanted to quit. Typically on these type of sheep hunts, chances are few and shots long.

Yet after 14 days, on the last day of November, 2006, the last day of the season, I arrowed a great Canmore ram at 60 yards. The hunt was triumphant because I didn’t give up. The conditions were horrible and the challenge immense. Yet sometimes the toughest hunts are the hunts where things go wrong, are the ones that you remember most. At the time you just want to be warm, “shoot out” and have the hunt be over, or worse yet, you want to give up. But it’s these types of mental challenges that toughen a man’s spirit. This hunt gave me the confidence to hunt more sheep and to eventually take the archery Grand Slam of wild sheep and then Super Slam of North American Big Game. Tough hunts are often the most memorable because they are the hardest won.

Tom Miranda poses with his Canmore bighorn ram. This hunt is one of the 29 hunts seen on Tom Miranda’s “Adventure Bowhunter” Quest for the Super Slam DVD Available at Scheels.

Biggest Goal for 2016

Typically a bowhunter would be happy with taking a buck in whitetail season. Better yet, consider harvesting an elk in September and whitetail in October as a “stellar season”. However my job involves hunting and my contract with the Outdoor Channel requires the production 18 original episodes each year. Because I only hunt with bow and arrow, eighteen successful bow hunts is a tall order.

This means I am hunting somewhere every month, often in 2 or 3 different locations, in the same month for different animals. When one turns their hobby into their occupation, the perspective of the hunt changes. I love the adventure and challenges of bowhunting and look at my career as a chance to share these adventures with the viewers who tune in each week. My goal every year is to make the absolute best episodes I can to keep my TV audience interested in the areas and animals I am pursuing, to root for me on the mountain, in the blind and perched in the tree stand. Sometimes I am successful – sometimes not so much. But it’s bowhunting and no matter how hard you try you don’t always get one. Thus my success is based on telling the story of my hunt; the who, what, when, where and why of the challenge. To weave together the adventure with the images, dialog and emotions that evolve during the challenges of a hunt.

Often the hunts I do are “dream hunts”. Going to exotic places and hunting animals many viewers will never hunt and this season is no different. Soon I will fly to Europe to hunt Cantabrian chamois; a small, hooked horn goat that lives in the beautiful mountains of Northern Spain. The history of Spain is amazing and the challenges of hunting mountain animals with bow and broadheads is always tough. Another trip this year is to the Congo in pursuit of the elusive bongo and yellow-backed duiker. Silver back gorilla’s live in the Congo and to see one in the wild would be worth the trip, bongo or no bongo. I have many more hunts in many different parts of the world – all exciting – all challenging. My biggest goal this season is to keep it real, enjoy these adventures and bring you the best in Adventure bow hunts from around the world.

Tom’s most recent bow hunt was to southern Africa where he arrowed this amazing African cape buffalo at 25 yards.