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by Wheeler 45 a.k.a. wheeler45 Last updated: 2009-12-19 10:40:38
Second Chance Buck
Saturday 28 November 2009 found me once again afield in quest of a deer. Having harvested a doe and button buck earlier in the season today I was only hunting for a buck as it would be my last opportunity during the firearm season. After meeting Kevin Presnell and the boys at the cabin it was determined that Chase Southers age 12 would sit with me in the blind. He had killed a nice buck on opening day with his shotgun and now wanted a doe. I hoped that he was a quiet kid. We boarded the Ruff and Tuff buggy and drove to the blind which was sitting on the edge of a food plot. After unloading our gear the buggy was hidden by the road and the vigil began. The morning was chilly and we awaited the sunrise. Nothing moved for a while until around 9:00 a doe entered the field. She was 129 yards from us and was contentedly feeding. As she grazed she began occasionally checking her back trail. Figuring that a buck was following her, I got into a good shooting position and watched with binoculars. Chase was silent and still as she was out of his range. A short time later two other smaller does entered the field from the woods. We now had deer at two different locations. The last two were 70 yards from us and were staring at the blind. They stomped their hooves and bobbed their heads trying to get us to move. I figured that the jig was up as they had made us. About that time a large doe stepped to the field’s edge at 85 yards and watched the two alerted ones. She was evidently the local matriarch and was evaluating the situation. We waited motionlessly as she watched the younger deer and then she directed her gaze at us. She moved not a muscle. She did not get old by being reckless. We figured the two smaller would bolt sending them all into the woods. Oddly enough, the first doe never gave a glance as she fed while checking her back trail. There had to be a buck in the woods.
Suddenly, behind the big doe I saw antlers coming through the woods approaching her on the same trail. Still she was motionless as she watched us. Counting points was impossible but he looked tall. Stopping 10 yards behind the doe he watched her. Slowly he would take a step and stop. Like molasses he crept toward her, the rut ruling his mind. At 90 yards he stopped the doe calmly turned tail and began reentering the woods. Knowing that he was going to follow her I put the cross-hair on him as he quartered toward me. It was not a good position. As she moved a hole opened I squeezed the trigger and sent a 120 grain Ballistic Tip down range. All the deer vaporized from sight. Chase wanted to go after the deer but I made him forbear. We waited until lunch when the others came. We described the deer’s location and they went to retrieve it. After a while Kevin returned saying that they could not locate the deer and had found only one speck of blood and a little hair. I was sick thinking that a wounded deer was suffering somewhere. I prayed that the deer would die quickly.
After boarding the buggies we drove the wood’s perimeter and checked trails to no avail. I was one quiet puppy as we lunched in the cabin. Losing a deer is a sickening experience. It would be better to completely miss.
After lunch we returned to the blind at 3 P.M. . It was a little warmer now and quite a pleasant day. Chase bless his heart, prepared his gun and then fell fast asleep in his chair. Thankfully he did not snore. He slept until just before 5. I had not seen anything yet. As the sun crept toward the western horizon behind us Chase awoke. I then rattled and grunted hoping to attract a buck. Telling my partner to look at the sun as it dipped below the tree tops, I told him it was now ‘magic time’. He was exited and wanted to kill a doe before the season ended. The food plot was dead as dusk descended. It was getting darker by the minute. I looked to my right and scanned left, seeing nothing. Looking to the right again a buck was standing in the field 72 yards from us where I had only seconds before looked. Up came the T/C Contender 7-30 Waters as I cocked it. Looking through the 4X scope revealed that it was this morning’s buck standing broadside to us! Praise the Lord! Knowing that blood trailing in the dark is problematic I held for a left shoulder shot and pressed the trigger. He dropped as if struck by lightning. He fell to his side and lay twitching. Instantly reloading I got on him again. Chase asked if I was going to shoot again and I told him that one never knows about deer. Staggeringly the buck hauled himself to his feet and reversed course wanting to return to the safety of the woods. As soon as he was fully standing I placed another round into his right shoulder dropping him behind some tall grass. Within minutes it was dark. We texted Kevin and learned that he was trailing a buck that he had shot.
Kevin’s son Klint and his buddy Devin Hupp came and accompanied Chase to retrieve the deer as I waited in the blind. Wheelchairs and rough terrain are incompatible. They drug the deer to the blind and we examined it. My morning shot had evidently caught him as he turned. He had a superficial graze on the left rear quarter. It would have been annoying but nothing more. I thanked the Lord for giving me the buck and letting the season end on a good note.
Praise God for his wondrous gifts and especially for salvation through Jesus Christ.
Tony Huffman #8113
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