Monday, January 19, 2015

Did you just shoot?!?

As the alarm went off I smelled the coffee which was set on a timer the night before. It was four o'clock in the morning, and even tho my buddies and I had some drinks the night before, I felt great. The excitement that only opening day of deer season brings to a 17 year old rushed through me. As I began to gear up and make my coffee I noticed my friend Adam was a bit shaky and still quite tired, but he was going out anyway. He's not the kind of guy that would let a hangover hold him back on opening day of shotgun.
     So out to the garage we go. Check the guns, count the ammo, check the ammo too (there was once a buckshot incident in not going to talk about). I really don't know how it happens but somehow, someway, in damn near every hunters supply of ammunition there is one or two out of place rounds somewhere. And lets be honest, when your in the field your not checking what you pull from your pockets.  Therefore if you know what's in your pockets, you know what's in your gun.
     Adam and I decided to sit together for no apparent reason. We chose a spot in an old shallow, dried creek bed at the edge of some pines that border hardwoods. It was an odd setup to say the least. One that seems more effective for turkey than deer, but we didn't care we had the whole day to screw around with changing spots and hunting entirely different areas. We were in this spot for all of 15 minutes when I heard Adam say "it's going to be awhile, and man I'm tired". Not thinking much of what he had just said I waited for sunrise.
     It was a beautiful November morning, quiet, with a slightly orange sky that brought the warm air of the cool fall with it. As dark gave way to dawn I began to become more alert and focused on my surroundings. I looked to my left and there was my buddy. He's sprawled out on the ground snoring with gun in hand and across his lap. It was certainly enough to make anyone laugh. I could tell his hang over had the best of him, so I just let him sleep. I quietly slid up to a tree propped my back against it and placed my gun on my knee as if I were hunting turkey.
     In every direction a mile or more away I was hearing the faint sounds of shotgun fire. I waited in anticipation, knowing that even if it were a deer the other hunters startled into my neck of the woods something would come my way. About that time I heard the footsteps of what sounded like a squirrel (any whitetail hunter knows what I mean). It's the sound that makes us despise squirrels for two months of the year. However, this time it was the real deal when a beautiful eight point stepped into view at about 150 yards.
     Without a care in the world he walked right toward me. Slowly but surely he came, grazing here and there the whole way. Like any good hunter I attempted to keep a bead on him the entire time. I could feel my pulse begin to race, trying not to fall to good ol' buck fever as I could see the rack more clearly at about 120 yards. Suddenly when he made it to around 100 yards he must have figured something was up and put his nose to the sky in an attempt to wind me.
     Bang! The big buck crumpled and Adam practically jumped out of his skin. Shocked and probably half deaf he's says in a partially confused and scared to death voice "Did you just shoot?". So I said "yeah and you missed all the fun." "Now lets go get my deer." Then we laughed a little and I laughed a little more.
     It turns out, the buck was an eight point with a 19 inch spread, starting to go non-typical with a 9th point at the base of a tine. One beautiful specimen of a north eastern whitetail. I was also able to to recover my bullet while field dressing.
     Adam never ended up getting his deer that day but I didn't feel too awful for him due to the fact that he managed to fill every tag he had during the previous archery season.
     All in all a pretty good start to a season, especially considering I skipped school that day to get my deer. In hindsight I actually probably could have even made it to school that day. Instead I took the day of to help push deer and take a nap. We had some laughs and some fun. Thank you whitetails for making hide and seek fun again.
     That's Mondays post and thank you for reading. Please comment and share.