Saturday, December 14, 2019

I woke up this morning to a pouring rain. The season has been long, and I wasn’t overly excited about going out and getting soaked since I just recovered from being sick. I called my dad and decided to wait until later in the day to see if the weather was going to break.

By late morning, the rain had turned to a drizzle. I headed to Dad’s house, and we decided to wander around the woods until dark. We went to our old stomping grounds close to home, and I covered some ground to find good spot to sit on Sunday morning.

After battling the heavy fog and steady drizzle, I decided I better head back to the truck. I figured I would still-hunt and try to walk up on something. The woods were quiet, and it felt like deer should have been moving.

As I picked my way through some big oak trees, I peeked over a bank and stared blankly at the woods in front of me. Something told me a deer was there, but I couldn’t see anything. Satisfied that nothing was there, I glanced at the ground and attempted to take a step.

That split second was all it took for a deer to take off running. Pulling the gun to my shoulder, I couldn’t get it settled in fast enough to get on the deer. I watched a nice buck bound off through the woods. I was pissed at myself, but knew it was my own fault. I had lost my concentration for a matter of seconds, which cost me the opportunity to take the buck.

After taking it all in, I continued across the mountain. I did everything I could to make sure I didn’t miss anything in front of me. As the fog seemed to become thicker, I knew I needed to start covering ground to get out before it got dark.

As soon as I began moving faster, I jumped a deer and saw that it had antlers on its head. I pulled the gun up and found myself lost in thought between pulling the trigger or letting the deer walk. I settled the crosshairs on its shoulder but didn’t touch it off. Instead, I watched the deer when it stopped. I could tell that it couldn’t tell what had spooked it. As it looked around I knew I had to decide what to do, so I lowered the crosshairs on the shoulder again and squeezed the trigger.

When the smoke cleared, I could see the deer running through the hardwoods. It had a high rack but didn’t appear to be a big buck. When I went to look to see if I had hit the deer, I couldn’t find any evidence of a hit. The light drizzle had turned into a steady rain, and I knew there wasn’t much I could do without finding any sign of a hit. I searched the area until it got dark, then headed home. I knew I would have to return in the morning to see what I could find.

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