Wow. A bunch of planning, packing and three days driving for one of my favorite weeks of the year and it’s over in two hours on the very first evening.
Tod and I had talked about whether or not we’d shoot something on the first night and like all deer hunters everywhere, we speculated and postulated about how big the buck would have to be and how perfect the shot opportunity would have to be to release an arrow so soon in our hunt.
My talk was tested and I guess I found out.
We arrived at our camp around noon and I was settled into my stand by 3:30PM. Sundown was at 5:29PM and the patch of woods in the creek bottom where I was sitting gets dark fairly quickly after that, so when the sun set and I hadn’t seen any deer I knew that my first sit was almost over.
Then I saw the shadow of a deer approaching. Even at dusk and at 100 yards it was clearly a buck. He had a big body and was cruising with his head low. I picked up my bow immediately because he was coming fast. His antlers were tall and he had good main beams but I wasn’t sure yet. I drew back when he went past the last of the cover trees and when he emerged into the clearing I got one more look at his rack.
Decision made in an instant, I grunted. He stopped and I released the arrow. I’m really pleased with the result and I know that we’ll be eating well for a while on this one. But…
When I told another old hunting friend, Darrell, about my hunt he related this story. After showing an old-timer his nice buck in the back of his truck the codger shrugged and shuffled away saying, “Nothing ruins a great hunt like getting something.”