Passage from The Broken Leg Buck
My eyes came back open and I was scared. My mind was racing. I didn’t know where I was, how I got there or who I was with. My legs were trembling. I looked straight ahead and feared for my life. I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t place it. My head felt funny. My fingers were tingling and I had a pounding headache. I sat there dumbfounded. After approximately five minutes I realized that I needed something to eat. I rummaged through my backpack and found some Snickers candy bars. I quickly shoveled them into my mouth. My blood sugar level had hit rock bottom. I was in the beginning stages of an insulin reaction. I didn’t panic. I chose to sit tight, eat my candy and wait for my blood levels to come back to an acceptable level. After about a half hour I started feeling better. I noticed a small doe feeding up the hill. She was coming out of the cedar swamp below. I sat still and she fed past me. She never saw me and continued on her way. I waited a little while to make sure nothing was following her and then I headed back to meet Dad.
Passage from The Sleeping Buck
The morning dragged at first. I sat there and stared into the sky. I was complaining to myself and asking whoever was listening why the weather always had to be crappy. As I fidgeted around I caught movement on the small, steep knob off to my right. I instantly identified the deer as the long tined buck that I had seen a few other times. Once again, I didn’t have a shot. I kept hearing Dad and Jeff over and over in my head, “You might just as well shoot. What do you have to lose?”
At that point I determined they were right. I didn’t have anything to lose and there was no way I was going to get the buck if I didn’t shoot. When he got into the saplings near the saddle I rested my gun on my knee and pulled the trigger. The deer kept walking and I fired again. The deer didn’t even flinch and continued walking. I fired once again and he stopped. He looked in my direction. He was alert and had finally figured out that something wasn’t right. I leveled the crosshairs on this front shoulder and squeezed the trigger again. After he started running I fired the last shot in the gun. Just as I had originally thought, there was no way a bullet would make it through the maze of small trees. I reloaded my gun and then turned my radio on. When I turned it on I could hear Jeff and Dad talking.
As an update I would like to let my readers know that I’m making headway on the book. I’m currently flowing pictures into it and working on the cover. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m hoping to have things completed in the next 2-3 months. Please be patient and feel free to send me a note with any questions that you might have. Thanks.
A passage from the chapter titled: The Ghost
I’ll always remember the year of the Ghost because emotionally I was a wreck. There were many things that were bothering me. I was feeling down in the dumps and the rain didn’t help matters. There weren’t many mornings to sit back and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. It seemed as if I constantly had water dripping down my back or heavy wind blowing in my face. I was never comfortable or at peace with myself. I didn’t fight it. I put one foot in front of the other and blazed my way forward. The day I headed to the creek in the heavy saplings I had positive vibes. It was the first time I had felt them the entire season. Everything inside me told me something good was going to happen. I followed my intuition and something good did happen. I think I have to put credence in the saying, “you make your own luck.” I definitely made my own luck that day.
Of any deer I have taken in the Adirondacks this one probably gave me the most trouble. I continuously tried outsmarting him. He won the battle many more times than I did. I think he probably traveled on the edge, but never when I was there. He may have even ventured out into the open area the evening I killed him. I’ll never know that for sure. However, when I did outsmart him he didn’t have a clue I was there. I was in his living room and he walked right to me without hesitation. It still amazes me how everything came together without a hitch. When I was handcuffed with the gun in my lap I cursed for a few seconds, but when he walked behind the blow-down I was instantly relieved. Since then, I have often wondered if I ever would have seen him if I sat there some other time.
Just last year I walked through the same area and told myself the same thing. When I looked around I didn’t find any scrapes so I moved on to sit someplace else. I have mental images of almost all of the bucks I’ve seen while hunting. The Ghost gives me the most focused and clear image of all of them. The sight of him appearing like a ghost will be etched in my mind for as long as I live.
A passage from the chapter titled: The Freezing Rain Buck
When I return to this place I try to take in the surroundings. My memory dashes back to that gray, cold, miserable day. I can still see the buck’s main beam as he was just about to disappear over the last knob. I can feel myself resting my elbow on my knee, settling the crosshairs on the deer and firing the gun. There’s something about this place and that deer, that moves me inside. When I killed him I had a sense of accomplishment that I wasn’t sure I would ever match again. I was fairly young as far as hunting in the Adirondacks go and I had killed a buck that many Adirondack hunters dream about. I knew inside how fortunate I was and I appreciated it. I would have to learn a lot more about deer in order to give myself an opportunity at anything that would compare to this buck.
This deer was also the first deer that I killed with my own rifle. I had saved enough money to buy my own gun. I picked a gun that I wanted and that I dreamed about. It was an Interarms .270 with a full wooden stock. It was heavy, but it was the gun I wanted. This gun was similar to Miner’s gun. Miner’s gun was named “Little Poison.” I didn’t use that gun for too many seasons. It was a little too heavy to do a lot of walking with so I eventually retired it for a lighter version. I still look at pictures from that hunt and it seems like it was just yesterday that it all happened.