Friday, December 8, 2017

Once again, I went into work early today so I could go hunting this afternoon. Brian and I made plans to go to one of his spots after work. He has hunted it for a long time and knows what the deer do in the area when they get pushed.

He told me he would push out a couple of small swamps to see what happened. It was cold and still when we headed into the woods. Since I had never been in the patch of woods, Brian gave me a quick rundown of how the ridges came together and what caused deer to run through certain areas.

After listening closely to where he told me to go, I headed into the woods. I was sure I could find the knob that he told me about. As he wandered through the swamp in front of the knob, I took in the surroundings. Studying the terrain and the things around me, I quickly figured out what funnels the deer out of the swamp in front of the knob I was sitting on.

When I spotted Brian, I was surprised that nothing came in front of me before he appeared. He quickly made his way toward the other swamp, and I moved to another crossing farther down the creek.

Ten minutes later, I was greeted with a “BOOM, ” then a few minutes passed and I heard another shot. Brian’s voice crackled through the radio, “I think I missed. I have to go look. Get ready because the deer headed in your direction.”

I get nestled in next to a large tree that had a blowdown next to it. A few minutes later I saw two does bounding through the tall swamp grass. In seconds, they were gone. After they disappeared, I heard Brian’s voice again. “Hey, get ready, there’s buck sign all over in here, and I just saw a tail.”

Looking to my right, I spotted one sneaking through the tall grass. I didn’t have any good lanes to shoot, and I knew the deer was going to be gone in a matter of seconds, so I found the best opening I could and fired. It was a long shot for a muzzleloader, but my gun shoots well and I know it usually hits what I’m aiming at. Unfortunately, there was too much brush between me and the deer.

After the smoke cleared, Brian appeared and we searched all over to make sure I didn’t hit the deer. When we were satisfied with our search, we headed out of the woods. It had been an incredible couple of hours, and I’m glad we tried something a little different than what we normally do.

Brian is a great friend and the best hunting partner, besides my father, who I’ve ever spent every day of hunting season with while chasing the same dreams and goals. I wasn’t sure I would ever find anyone like him to join me in my pursuit of big game, but after finding him and realizing he was cut from the same cloth, I consider myself pretty lucky. He gets the job done, too. Sometimes I wish my hunting partners got the credit they deserve. We all learn from one another and help each other succeed.


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