Sunday, November 10, 2019

That's why they call it hunting....


I have been hunting for nine days.  Until yesterday, I haven't seen anything to shoot.
Yesterday was different.  Within an hour of entering my blind, a tiny little fawn ran and bucked in the field behind me.  Although I was confident that a buck would stick to the trees alongside the river in front of me, I would turn my head occasionally to check what was happening at my back.
It was during one of these checks that I turned my head forward to see a monster buck staring at me through the trees.  He had seen my movement.  Drat.  Now it was a waiting game.  They don't get that big by being an idiot.  I stayed calm and studied the situation.  Only his head was showing.  The path he was on provided me one shot and one shot only.  We stared at one another for what felt like forever.
I had to wait until he turned his head to pull back my bow. Then I had to pray he took a step forward soon after.  Time stood still. I had to stare at his antlers, so I would know when he turned his head. If you look them in the eye they will know you aren't a tree, but a hunter.  Finally, he looked forward.  I pulled my bow back.  Then he focused on me once more.  
Again time stood still.  My arm started to shake.  I had to shoot while I could still be accurate.  I tried to find him in my peepsight through the brush.  I aimed and let loose.  The arrow flew at the perfect height.  It went right in front of him.

He never moved.  He didn't even flinch.  We stared at each other.  I grabbed another arrow.  I got it in the nock.  I raised for a second shot. He continues to stare. 
Just as I start to pull back he bolts.  He was even bigger than I thought.  In a second he is gone.  I am certain that was my one and only chance.  They don't get that big by making the same mistake twice.
That's why they call it hunting and not shooting.  It wasn't a complete loss.  I will forever have him etched in my memory.  He was truly regal.  It was worth it.  Even if I didn't harvest him, it was worth every minute.

5 comments:

  1. Bummer! At least you saw one. More than many folks around here - wolves and blue tongue did quite the number this year. I like to think if they are that big, they will help produce some dandy fawns.

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  2. Maybe that buck will live to a ripe old age and you can hunt and harvest his offspring.

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  3. Beautifully written, I may not see the photos but you brought me right there,,

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  4. As we always say around here, "He will be a nice one next year." :~) I don't hunt, but my good-luck vest does. The son borrowed it and had his buck within an hour.

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  5. I just finished a whole series of books by a guy named C.J. Box. I loved how you told this story. So sorry you didn't get your buck. Every time I make a pie I think about your bear fat. Hopefully, you will get another chance. Beautiful shots too.

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