|Cow and Calf|
To close out the opening day of deer season, my dad, my uncle Dick and I decided to ride around some of the country that I have been hunting since I could walk. This was the first time we had deer hunted this ground without my grandfather. He was deeply missed, but we will continue the deer hunting legacy that he left behind. I had little hope of seeing anything, but I had to go for tradition if nothing else. As we rode, we were spending more time reminiscing of times past than actually looking for deer, but that didn’t stop us from seeing a doe standing at 30 yards broadside. Dad slammed the brakes on, and I grabbed the binoculars to scour the bushes behind her for any sign of a buck. After a few minutes, we decided she was alone, and continued down the road. A quarter mile later, the story telling on hold while we all were on high alert from our last sighting, Dad locked up the brakes and said, “There’s one!” As I turned to see where he was looking, I caught sight of something moving. Dad already had binoculars on it, and just as I got mine focused, he exclaimed, “It’s got antlers!” Dad got out and loaded his rifle, as I watched through the binoculars. I watched tensely, waiting for the loud crack of the .270 firing. Instead, all I heard was a whisper. “I can’t see him through the scope,” Dad said. I explained the deer’s location to him, so he could use a tree as a reference. He still couldn’t see and told me to get out and grab the gun. I got out and pulled the gun up to where the buck was standing. I couldn’t see anything through it either. It was getting dark, but there were still a few minutes of legal shooting time left. Talk about frustrating, I could see the buck through binoculars, but couldn’t see a thing through the scope. I jockeyed for a better position, when a truck came over the hill, and put his headlights right in my face. Then I really couldn’t see and by the time the truck left, I only had about a minute of legal time left. I couldn’t find the deer in the binoculars anymore and I assumed he had left. I started easing closer to where I had last seen him. When I got within 70 yards of where I had last seen him, he jumped and started running right in front of me. It was past legal time by now, so no shot was possible. It was a complete surprise to see that deer, and it did feel good to get the old buck fever going! The buck wasn’t a monster, but it was a good solid deer. I could see what I thought were three points on one side, but I couldn’t tell if it had brow tines, which would have made it an eight point, so either it was a six or an eight, but it got away, so it had to be an eight! I have now already seen more antlered deer this year than I expected, so I will have to keep my eyes open!