Now it is
getting dark and the sun is going down and the hill on which I was
sitting was shaded. The other side of the ravine in which I was watching
was still bright with light. It was the time of day when a hunter is
trying to slow the clock down and beg for thirty more minutes. It was
perfect, beautiful and peaceful. I looked at my phone. It was 4:44.
As I glanced at the corner of the uppermost part of the field a buck
stepped through the fence row. I could tell it was a good buck,
definitely a shooter. I lay on my belly and held just a shade high and
Bang! He was gone. I didn’t see him fall and I didn’t see
him run. Immediately I stood up and thought, I got to get over
there. I walked down through the ravine and up the other side.
It seemed I kept walking and walking. The further I walked the
more I thought, “This isn’t good. This is a long way.” I
finally made it to the spot where the deer had been when I shot.
It was easy to figure the exact spot in the field because I could see my
bag on the other side of the hill. The blood had to be right here.
By now I was fairly worked up. I didn’t know exactly how big the
buck was, but I know he was decent. Everything happened so fast.
Everything was by the book. Still no blood. By this time it
was almost dark so I decided to walk down towards the woods to the west.
I know he didn’t run up the hill or I would have seen him. He had
to go down.
along the edge of the woods hoping to find a blood trail where he ran
in. Back and forth along the edge of the woods bent over with my flash
light. Still nothing.
As I stood
just inside the wood line looking back up the hill where I had shot,
many thoughts ran through my head. I had a good rest, I didn’t flinch,
and he was standing still. Everything was perfect but the distance. As
I stood there I was that sick I could have puked. The only thought that
kept coming back was I didn’t want to wound or gut shoot that buck. I’m
the type of hunter that if it’s not perfect, I don’t shoot.
playing it over in my head and still gazing at the hill I decided to
pray. I prayed Lord, please let me have missed that buck. As I prayed
I asked that either I had missed the buck completely or that I find
him. I reminisced of the previous year when I had a decent shot on a
150 inch buck. We had to trail him for 2 miles. Now I have one with no
blood anywhere. After saying my prayer I remember thinking, I’m going to
be looking for this buck the rest of the week. I wonder how thick this
woods really is. With that thought in mind, I took my flash light and
turned to look inside the woods. There he was. He was piled up leaning
against a tree not more than 10 feet from where I was standing. I
walked over to look at him. I was shaking like a leaf. It wasn’t the
deer that had me worked up, it was the prayer. I believed before, I
guarantee I believe now.
admired my deer I counted the points. 1-2-5-10-17-20. 20 points.
Unbelievable. I had to call my brother. He answered, I was almost
crying. I said, “Flem”, he asked if I was all right. I said that I
just killed a hell of a buck. He asked how many points and I said 20.
He said “how many”? I said, “just like it sounds, 20!”
time I needed help. I called and got the cavalry headed my way. When
the guys arrived they asked how big is he. I said he has 8 points. I
wasn’t lying. I just wasn’t telling them about the other 12 points.
We needed a
cart to pack it out. Luckily, Rockey had just purchased a few new carts
and threw one in our truck, just in case. Great thinking on Rockey’s
behalf, but it was still in the box in pieces. I think that’s Rockey’s
way of getting them put together. With six guys, 4 flash lights and a
couple crescent wrenches we had it. Only minimal parts left over, a
couple nuts, a strap and one wheel. To the woods we go. When the other
guys saw him, they had a few choice words for me for saying 8 points.
No one could believe it including myself. It was a perfect shot through
vitals but with the angle it came out high. All the blood was inside.
He only ran 60 yards.
camp, Rockey was standing in the door waiting for the day’s report. I
got out of the truck and said, “Rock, I have to apologize, he wasn’t
quite as big as I thought.” Rockey said, “Uh oh, what did we do now.”
He looked in the back of the truck and looked at me and said “Jesus
Christ”. And I said, “That’s the guy that found it for me.”
scored it later that night after he found his second ball of rope. It’s
score, 202 inches, just like it sounds.
following night we made ourselves known at the Wagon Wheel. We drank
about 6 too many pitchers of what we call “Go Hammers”. We had lots of
laughs all to chants of “202, just like it sounds”.
Thanks to Rockey and
Brenda for their hospitality and their family-like atmosphere. I will
always remember the hunt, but it’s the whole trip that makes the