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November deer season came and
went here in
Just before opening day, I had eaten a sandwich and some chips and left camp to go park my butt in my tower stand. A low tower I built late in the summer but it has a great view. I was sitting in it that morning when the sun broke over the horizon. View from tower
In route to the tower, I decided to stop at a tree stand we built a couple of years ago. Nice big stand, but visibility is not good, too brushy around it. Thought I might catch a deer sneaking through the timber.
Once I sat down though, my lunch decided to make me sleepy. I was not concerned about dozing for a few minutes at such a height. I am the kind of guy that could sleep standing up on the center stripe of a highway, for 3 minutes or 3 hours.
Anyway, I figured since I could not see well anyway, now would be a good time to catch a Z or 2. I dozed for about 15 minutes. In short order I got bored with my viewing area. It was only about 150 yards to my tower so I figured I would mosey that way. My heart rate was about zero and I headed east up the lane along the south edge of the CRP field.
I had walked about halfway when I came to another lane that had been strategically cut through to the north east corner of the field. I glanced up the lane and something almost white caught my eye. It was just a tree at the end of the lane that was missing some bark but it was enough to quicken my pulse a little. I started to look away and continue east when I saw movement. It was a deer headed east toward that corner of the field.
Having a sling on my rifle, naturally it was hanging on my shoulder. In 3 milliseconds, the rifle was pulled down, shouldered and ready for action. I found the deer in the scope and found brush too. She was moving at a pretty good clip, obviously spooked by something and I silently willed her to stop, just for a second and she did, right in the middle of the lane at about 125 yards. That was all I needed, I touched the trigger and sent the 100 grain pill to her. She jumped, disappeared from sight and re-appeared heading north. She made a quick turn to the east was at the east fence of the property. I lost sight of her behind a big tree but could see that she had stopped behind the tree, at least from my vantage point.
Remember my heart rate of zero, well now, in my 30th deer season, I found my heart in my throat and my hand shaking. Yep, buck fever, doe fever, whatever you want to call it, my heart was pounding. I froze, not wanting to push her in case I had screwed up the shot somehow. I smoked a cigarette, then another, dug around in the grass for my spent brass that had left the bolt action chamber to make room for a follow-up round. I stood there and thought about all that had just transpired in less than 10 seconds and realized that had I practiced pulling the gun down off my shoulder and preparing to shoot, I could not have done it any faster.
John Wayne would have been proud, and I don't think I am any different than any other hunter. It is what we live for. That brief encounter that we worked so hard to prepare for. Scouting, building, planning and of course target practice.
I could wait no longer, I headed for where I saw her last. Just beyond the tree that blocked my view, she laid quiet and still. She had cleared the east fence by about 20 yards. Her burst of energy had carried her about 50 yards from point of impact.
Having been told many times that the .243 is just really a little light for deer and that bigger would be a safer bet, I just really wonder how dead they need to be. My next new rifle is likely to be another .243, just for a little variety, you know.
Had a 23 year old nephew that surfaced a couple of weeks before season wanting to hunt. He had never deer hunted but was prepared to do whatever he needed to do to be there. He killed 2 deer opening day. I remember how it felt when I killed my first deer and he reminded me again of the excitement. He was talking 90 mph and reliving it over and over.
We finished the season taking 7 deer off of 120 acres. Not bad at all. I still have 2 tags left and will be back out the first part of January for the extension of the season.
Meanwhile, I have been working on the coyote population. As of this writing I have not connected with one but had fun trying. I will be adding a "Coyote" section to this site and offer what I know about hunting them. Obviously not enough but I am getting more consistent anyway.
I have also been working on the 45 LC and having a blast. I started a section on this site under “Cartridges”. You can check it out now but it is a work in progress. 45 Colt