As stated in my last post, my first deer hunting trip came when I was 12 years old. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I remember waking up before the sun and getting ready, pulling on the worn out hand me down camo from my cousin. As we hopped in the truck for the short drive to the property from our hotel room, I remember the excitement starting to build even while having no idea what was to come. The only thing I can compare it to would be that butterfly feeling in your stomach when you start thinking about the beautiful neighbor girl or boy that you had a crush on in middle school. Every time I enter the woods, those feelings come back and I couldn’t be happier!
On that first morning of gun season in 1997, I sat in a homemade treestand consisting of a piece of plywood and a few pieces of angle iron. To this day, I still cannot believe that I didn’t fall out of the tree immediately. To say that the stand wasn’t safe would be a gross understatement to the death trap that someone actually called a treestand. To this day, I still have that stand. Luckily, that first year was the one and only time anyone that I know had to use it. Instead, I have it set up in my backyard as a display ornament and a phenomenal reminder of how my journey as a whitetail deer hunter started.
As the morning progressed, I finally heard what sounded like footsteps of something trotting through the woods coming from my right, straight down the ridge line. As my dad and I watched, a very nice mature buck came trotting through like he was on a mission. He never stopped as my dad tried grunting at him to get a clean shot. When he realized that this buck was not going stop, my dad unloaded his gun with 3 quick shots. The buck made no odd movement or any indication that he had hit the deer at all as he continued to trot along.
Now, all throughout the morning I kept asking my dad what the orange flag was that I kept seeing down the hill off the our left (directly down the ridge line that we sat on). His answer was the same each time. “I don’t know, that is still Jim’s property so there shouldn’t be anyone down there and I don’t see what you are looking at.”
After giving the deer ample amount of time to expire if he had connected with his shot, we got down from the tree and began looking for blood. Though we didn’t find any, we decided to continue down the ridge line just to make sure he didn’t start bleeding a little farther down the path. As it turns out, the deer didn’t make it 100 yards down the ridge before falling over dead. As we walked up on the deer we noticed something extremely odd, our deer had already been gutted!! Tune in to the next post to find out what happened.