Tuesday, December 6, 2016

I met Alex at the McDonald’s right next to work today at 1:50 p.m. We raced to the Lake George Wild Forest to find a place to sit until dark. I went with my gut and brought him to the place where I killed the Grunter, which I wrote about in my first book. I passed a few bucks in that place last week while I was rifle hunting.

I told Alex that I would shoot a small buck if we saw one so he could get it on film. As we made our way to the place I wanted to sit, I stopped to show him where a buck had made its way down the hill before we got there. I showed him how I could tell that it was a buck by observing the urine marks in the snow. He was amazed.

Since he’s neither pro or con about hunting, he has the ability to be completely unbiased and objective. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to be in the woods with a grown adult (he’s about 36) who doesn’t have a pre-established opinion on it. Instead, he sits back and takes everything in on his own terms, organizes it in his mind, and has the ability to see both sides of the argument without falling onto one side or the other.

Shortly before dark, I spotted a doe coming down the hill. I raised the gun and put the crosshairs on her shoulder. I grabbed his ankle and alerted him of her presence. He’s not the quietest fella in the woods, but he did a pretty good job staying still. I whispered to him that another deer was just out of sight. He asked how I knew. I told him I heard a stick crack and the doe kept looking that way. I figured it was probably one of the small bucks.

Suddenly, the doe spotted us and became alert. I knew she was going to bolt, so I relayed the information through another whisper. Then, she bounded up the hill after blowing a few times, and two other deer that were just out of sight appeared and followed her up the hill. Just like that, the excitement was done, and we headed out of the woods.

I really thought tonight was going to be the night. I had a great time. This might have been one of the most rewarding days I’ve ever spent in the woods, and my stay only lasted about two hours.

Dad called me today. He told me that there were two bucks on the camera that I set up behind his house last night. One was a small 4 or 6-pointer and the other one was the buck he thought was a 10-pointer, but this picture clearly shows that it’s a 9-pointer. It’s a relatively young deer. We are hoping that it survives and has a chance to put on some antler growth next year. Time will tell. Here he is.


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