Friday, November 25, 2016

Unfortunately, I had to work this morning while Brian and dad hunted. As I sat inside and punched the keys on my keyboard, I wished I could be in the woods. I knew the deer would be moving this morning.

One of my friends texted me in the morning and said he heard two shots that sounded like they came from the area where Brian was supposed to be hunting. I couldn’t wait to get out of work so I could go find out if it was him that shot.

After working my four hours for a half a day, I left to head north at 9:45 a.m. The roads were a mess when I got near my destination in the central Adirondacks. It was white-knuckle driving until I parked to go to the tent. I was glad to finally pull my truck off the road since my 4-wheel drive low wasn’t working.

I decided to still-hunt for the rest of the day. The woods were quiet with the wet snow on the ground, and I figured I could easily sneak up on any unsuspecting deer. After walking for about an hour, I needed to get a drink of water out of my backpack. I took it off and leaned it against a tree to retrieve the bottle from the side pocket. As I brought the bottle to my lips and tilted my head backward, I heard a strange thumping noise behind me that didn’t really register.

Startled, I quickly turned around. My heart jumped into my throat when I stared into the eyes of a deer that was standing less than 10 feet from me. After bolting away, the doe, her fawn and another doe became curious and walked right back to me when they calmed down. Eventually, they wandered away. It was an incredible experience to be in their world, and they didn’t mind sharing it with me. I was thankful for the few minutes that I was nothing more than a tree to them. They fed as if I they were there by themselves.

Since I had seen a lot of running tracks where bucks had been chasing does, I decided to park it right where I saw these does and wait until dark to see if a buck might pick up their tracks and come by me.

The rest of the day passed quickly, and I didn’t lay eyes on another deer before packing up and heading back to the tent. When I got to the tent, I learned that Brian had shot a nice deer in the morning. He had used two shots to get the job done. The first one didn’t hit a thing and the deer never moved. He guessed that the first bullet hit some brush on its way to the deer. The second shot found its mark.

Taking my advice about not losing an opportunity when it presents itself, he fired when he saw antlers. Knowing he might not get another look, he took the shot. Sometimes you can end up with a buck of a lifetime, but other times you can end up a little disappointed, which is what happened in this case.

The buck was a beautiful Adirondack 6-pointer. Adirondack bucks don’t come easy, and Brian had never killed one in this particular area. Now that he broke the ice, hopefully better things will happen in the future. He got his first kill in this area in the same exact place I killed my first buck in this area many years ago. That is cool stuff. If I recall, I might even have been about the same age he is now when I shot the deer during a late-season walk in the woods. I recall that it was below zero that day, and my hands were so cold when I shot the deer that they didn’t work well enough to gut the deer. I made a heck of a shot on that deer. I had originally passed it up as my dad and I walked together to check some places out. When I saw the deer standing next to a tree about 10 yards from me, my father didn’t see it. He asked what I was doing,  and I slowly pointed at the deer and mouthed, “Too small.” A few seconds later the deer took off running and dad yelled, “Shoot him,” so I pulled up and took him on the run at about 70 yards. I guess I’ve always been able to handle a gun well. I’m not sure where I got that ability. It could just be because of all of the time I spent in the woods. Confidence with your abilities is extremely important. I’ll take shots that most others will not attempt because I’ve been successful so often. I wouldn’t recommend it to most people, but if you practice a lot and you can pull off the shots in practice, then there’s no reason to feel that you won’t do the same on live game.

Tomorrow should be a good day. There were a lot of people in the woods today. Hopefully, the deer will be moving.

Here’s a picture of the deer that I killed in there many years ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t with Brian when he killed the deer. He fell down and broke the knobs off from his camera, so he couldn’t take any pictures. It was a really high rack. I can see why he thought it might have had a big rack on it. It’s a really nice buck, just not a monster. The other pictures are a few of the deer that came rushing in behind me today.


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