In late September of 2008, my good friend, John Dale from Natchez, invited me to participate in the first private lands alligator hunt ever held in Mississippi. Although I had only one night to hunt, I eagerly accepted the invitation. The Dale camp on Brierfield would be our hunt headquarters. The club caretaker, Scott Skipper, would be operating the boat; I would be manning the crossbow; John would be in charge of the video camera.
The weather turned foggy and cool - not the best situation for hunting alligators at night. The big lizards simply would not cooperate! Every time we got within range, the gators would silently slip beneath the surface and disappear. I did manage to get one arrow into a big alligator, but he managed to pull off after a brief fight in the thick brush and aquatic vegetation. I had to leave the next day, but Scott was able to fill all the club tags during daylight hours with his rifle over the next few days while the big ones were sunning along the shore.
Fast forward to Friday, September 18, 2009, this would be my second attempt at getting an alligator on Davis Island with a crossbow. This year I would be shooting my new Horton Vision 175. I arrived early in the afternoon, and Scott and I prepared our equipment for the hunt. Boat batteries had to be charged, arrows and buoys checked, and the boat launched before dark.
My curiosity about TenPoint’s new Defender CLS immediately went off the scale the moment I laid eyes on it at the 2009 SHOT Show. My first thoughts were: this looks a lot like my TenPoint Phantom CLS, minus the camo pattern on the riser and barrel. When I read the specs on this new crossbow, I knew I had to have one. My test sample arrived at home base not to long after I had finished unpacking my bags after returning home from the SHOT Show. I eagerly opened the box, and began to assemble the crossbow. It was still early enough in the day to take it out for a test run. I quickly laid down a layer of string wax and rail lube, grabbed my chronograph and headed outside to the test range.
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