Saturday, January 12, 2008

Great White Hunter #3 Another Interupted Deer

Back before they changed the law in Vermont to no shooting spikehorn bucks (those with less than three points), I almost had a nice one. I was actually up in one of my buddy’s wooden stands along a long draw of northern white cedar that butts up and runs along the length of an alfalfa field. From my vantage point in that corner I was able to see straight and shoot across the backside of the field where it edges a swamp.

It was warm for November, I was dressed for night temp’s when the sun heated my outfit, and I broke a sweat. So warm that my glasses had begun to collect moisture and fog up when a doe and two skippers came out twenty yards to my right. When they sauntered out of range I wiped my glasses, in time to have a car drive by and scare them back in front of me. Staying still as I let them pass they scented me on the wind and with flags up walked into the brush.
Just as the tall trees on the west side of the field began to lay their shadows on the field, I detected movement in the opposite corner.

I focused my binoculars as a small spikehorn stepped from the woods, about a hundred twenty pounds with foot-long spikes of antler on its head. Deciding to harvest I drew my rifle, a .243 caliber Howa modeled after a Weatherby. While I steadied the crosshairs and waited for a vital shot, the deers attention turned toward the road.

I saw movement in my peripheral vision, and turned to my left to see what the deer was looking at. I realized it was a guy walking his dog down the road. All of three seconds later he’s yells to the deer at the top of his lungs “shoooo, gitttt, run deer!!” and started clapping his hands. The commotion gets his dog barking as I turn my attention back to the scope and the deer. A perfect crosshairs on the center of a big white bobbing flag, as it turned into the woods. I heard a crash. I heard a snort. But that was all, no more deer that night.

I was mad. I was angry. I was venisonless. However I had learned an important lesson, take the shot you’ve got before it was the shot you had. That guy probably didn’t know I was sitting there watching him, all decked out in camouflage as I was. Would kind of like to think things had been different had I been wearing orange and the guy saw me. Maybe....

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