The central Missouri rut ended on the afternoon of Nov. 18 when Chris Ruggles, 39, used a climbing tree to soar above well-traveled game trails on an 80-acre private farm that ‘he was hunting with a buddy. At around 3 p.m., he spotted a handsome male behind him walking through a cornfield still standing.

“I growled at him, but he ignored it and started to walk away,” says Ruggles. “I pulled out my crackling horns, put one between my legs and snapped the horns together a few times. I thought he was continuing, but my horns caught his attention. He turned and walked into the free space 20 yards away, but was looking me straight in the eye, so I froze without moving.

The male soon approached and Ruggles began to draw his bow, but his movements caused a shadow to cross the ground near where the male was standing and the deer was startled.

“I groaned my mouth at him and he stopped 20 yards with his head behind a tree so I could draw my bow, anchor, aim and shoot a good shot,” Ruggles recalls.

The carbon shaft went all the way through the 8-point, 135-inch, 200-pound buck. The deer traveled 150 meters before falling dead. Ruggles texted his archery pal Josh Thomas at another nearby stall, and the couple dragged Ruggles’ money and headed home.

Thomas is paralyzed in one arm and severely disabled in the other. He uses his teeth to draw a 50-pound PSE bow using a homemade tongue-shaped device that attaches to his loop of rope.

The former Navy Search and Rescue swimmer after his life-changing motorcycle accident.

“I took four deer in four seasons of Missouri with my bow using a mouth tab,” he said. “But my 8-pointer this year is my best stag so far.”

Ruggles is a former Navy Search and Rescue (SAR) swimmer who was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident while stationed at Pearl Harbor in 2003. He is now a stay-at-home dad and has four elderly sons From 6 to 12 years.

“I’ve always hunted, but I got interested in archery a few years ago and, through some friends, I discovered Chuck Lear, a member of the United States National Archery Team. Paralympic arch. Lear draws his bow with his teeth and is from Missouri. So I went to an archery tournament and talked with him and he showed me his mouth tongue bowstring setup.

Ruggles’s wife made a similar mouth tab which he uses to draw his bow. The tongue is made of paracord and Ruggles uses an arched sight and aiming pins as you normally would. He trains several times a week and actively participates in archery tournaments. But now he’s more interested in taking his sons out hunting.

Paralyzed veteran uses muzzle firing tab to kill 8-point Missouri Buck
Ruggles draws his bow with his teeth and an improvised tongue.

“I took the two youngest boys out hunting earlier this year, and my 12-year-old can’t wait to have a deer soon,” says Ruggles. “It means the most to me these days to get these boys chasing.” “

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