Miami bow hunter able to double his pleasure


Miami’s Otto Foerster, 31, accomplished a rare feat for an archer, taking two bucks moments apart and retrieving both of them.

Bow hunter Otto Foerster with the two bucks he shot moments apart near Venus, FL.  His friend Graham Hooper is behind him.
Bow hunter Otto Foerster with the two bucks he shot moments apart near Venus, FL. His friend Graham Hooper is behind him.
Susan Cocking / Miami Herald Staff

Otto Foerster, a 31-year-old insurance salesman from Miami, took up bow hunting two years ago to try to mend a broken heart. Having just broken up with his longtime girlfriend, Foerster sought refuge in some remote woods about a 2 1/2-hour drive northwest of Miami, where his friend Graham Hooper had a small, primitive hunting camp.

The pair talked about life and relationships, toured the 70-acre lease and took target practice. Foerster used a compound bow, and Hooper — a quadriplegic — a pneumatic crossbow. Last year, Foerster scored his first buck.

“For me, it’s not about the kill,” Foerster said Wednesday as he prepared for Thursday’s dawn hunt. “It’s more about the camaraderie and fellowship with your friends. You get to know yourself out here.”

Perhaps it was Foerster’s Zen attitude, or maybe just solid preparation, but on Thursday morning he accomplished a feat rare for even a veteran archer: he shot two bucks — a “spike,” or young deer, and a four-pointer — moments apart and retrieved both animals.

Back at camp with the two deer loaded on an all-terrain vehicle, Foerster walked around in circles as if dazed.

“I need to process what just happened,” he said, shaking his head as if to clear it.

“Great job, bro!” Hooper said to him.

Sitting high in the crook of an oak tree just before sun-up, Foerster said he caught site of several deer on the move about 200 yards away. Nothing happened for a while except that a flock of turkeys wandered by. Then, at about 8 a.m., the two bucks appeared within30 yards of his blind.

“I picked out the four-pointer and waited for a broadside shot, and took it,” Foerster said.

The wounded deer charged away and disappeared, but — inexplicably — the spike ran about 20 yards and stopped.

“I thought, ‘Why not go for a two-fer?’ ” Foerster said.

He climbed carefully down from the tree, expecting the young deer to flee, but it still didn’t move. Another 30-yard shot, and he took it. The deer dropped in place.

“At this point, I’m like, ‘No way you dropped two deer,’ ” he said. “I was freaking out.”

Still looking for the first deer, he headed north to an adjoining field where he thought it had run and found it about 60 yards away.

Then he walked shakily back to camp to get the ATV.

Foerster and Hooper had planned to return to Miami at midmorning. Instead, they spent several hours processing and vacuum-bagging the bounty into venison steaks, sausage and jerky.

Hooper said they normally spend the return drive talking about everything that went wrong during the hunt. But not this time.

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

Boaters and divers look for lobster off Cape Florida on Wednesday July 30, 2014.


    Ex-Penn football player dies on dive during lobster miniseason

    A Broward man lost his life diving on the first day of the lobster miniseason. He might have run out of air.

  • Fishing report

    Captain Gil Gutierrez of Lucky Fishing Charters out of TNT Marina in Keystone reported that nighttime snapper fishing on the reefs offshore of Miami has been red hot. Plenty of mangrove, mutton and yellowtail snappers are biting cut bait over the reef in depths of 25 to 60 feet of water. Captain Bill Hauck from the party boat Sea King out of Marathon reported the nighttime mangrove snapper fishing on the reef is off the chart. Nighttime snapper anglers are having no problem catching a limit of snappers, which are eating ballyhoo and threadfin herring.

  • Outdoors notebook

    Off-road vehicles such as swamp buggies, street-legal 4x4s, ATVs and UTVs will be allowed back in the Big Cypress National Preserve on Friday, marking the end of the annual 60-day recreational closure to ORV access. Only the designated primary trails in the backcountry will be open. All secondary trails will remain closed for an additional 60 days. The closure does not affect landowners’ access to private property using permitted trails. For more information, visit

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category