I was geeked!!
This is a date I have waited on every year with the anticipation of a 6 yr old at Christmas.
Every nerve in my body is on high alert. I can't sleep. I can't eat. I spend the two days prior doing nothing but packing and re-packing. Laying out clothes. Working on the lunch menu. Pacing. Much pacing!
Is this the year I get the big one? Is it my time?
I have a great stand. I built it out of an old windmill tower. It's warm. It's elevated. Will my stand and I prevail?
I arrive at my stand early.
I have my thermos of coffee. I have a pack full of snacks.
I'm in and settled with plenty of time to spare. All is well.
As the sun begins to emerge in the Eastern sky the frost sparks with its reflection, my adrenaline rises. I wait and listen for that first shot to ring out. A sign of begining.
There it is. I move to the edge of my seat. I crack open the windows and ready the shotgun. My heart beats so loudly I am afraid the deer might hear it. A shot rings out, closer this time and I jump at the sound. Be ready I tell myself.
I don't move a muscle for fear of missing something. Tears streak down my cheeks, racing to my chin and I remind myself to blink. I hear movement to my right and my heart leaps into my throat. I almost choke. The gun is in my hands now and my limbs are starting to quiver. A squirrel! I am freaking out over a squirrel. I love it. A bit of tension is released and I refocus on the world outside my frosty windows which now lay fully open. My warm breath rising in front of my face. The frost has covered everything during the night. All now sparkles with the brilliance of diamonds. Glinting in their showcase of nature. Birds flirt back and forth chirping, welcoming the heat from the morning sun. The leaves on the ground are crisp and the tiniest footstep brings them roaring to life.
A few more shots ring out, snapping my attention from the morning beauty to the task at hand. Suddenly in a flury of sound and movement a deer bursts out of the brush from behind me. It's a buck. I quickly swing to the right sticking the gun out of the window. Too late he's out of sight for that window. I quickly reposition out the front window. He's running directly away from me.
The world goes into slow motion. The crosshairs in the scope slowly find their mark on the backside of his neck. I don't remember disengaging the saftey but I can hear it. Click! The sound echoes off the walls and I am sure the buck has heard it. I feel my finger sliding to the trigger. I release my breath and squeeze.
The only thing I feel after that is recoil. The 12 guage slug with it's high velocity load powers into my shoulder and rocks my head back. The deer falls from the view of the scope.
Regaining my senses I look out into the field of shimmering diamonds and there he is.
He lays there in all his glory. In his sacrifice I have gained.
I feel respect for this great creature. He has foiled me many times but today I am the victor. I remove my hat and whisper him into his afterlife.
Deer camp is one of the greatest things a person can have the privledge to be a part of. The comraderie of fellow friends and relatives is second to none.
Our opening day consisted of the two bucks you see in the picture above. The smaller one is Bob's. I have to point that out. All the guys in the picture hunt on the same property. We are there every year. We had a new edition last year. Grover was welcomed into the ranks. I believe he was taking the picture.
There is from left to right:
Andy(Griz), Mike(Texas), Me(bushmaster), Bob(Broker Bob),Tim(Phoenix), Jerry(JVL) and Mike(Grover) on the camera. The snowy picture is Broker Bob after the 3/4 mile ride to the backside of the property. The snow didn't stick around long but it sure was nice.
Every year I make a big lunch and we all hang in the barn. It is usually a concoction of Potatos, onions, green peppers, butter and seasonings and hopefuly some venison loin all wrapped in foil and placed on the grill.
I just call it hobo pies. Last year we ended up with smoked sausage instead of venison. Bow season was not too kind to me. We did manage to lay the hammer down later in the season as evidenced by the picture below. This is a load of hides and scraps going out to the swamp for a coyote buffet.
I can't wait too hang out with the boys again. Only 23 days to go.
I write this for all of my hunting companions. May we all be succesful in 2009. I salute you!!!