The last time I put a deer on the ground was back in October of 2009, and it’s been a long three years. I stuck to my convictions, though, and kept passing on year and a half old bucks, despite my struggles – and even if it was harder and harder to do. And…..finally….tonight it all paid off.
Jeff and I sat in the rain tonight, just hoping that something would come through. And after a couple of hours of sitting together in a pop-up blind on the edge of a bean field, we decided to make a move. With only about ten minutes of shooting light left, we decided to be a little mobile and see if we could catch a deer in another field on the way back to the truck. We didn’t make it four steps out of the blind, though, when Jeff hit the deck; I then followed suit, as I finally laid eyes on the three does that had caught his attention.
After duck walking through the tall grass to the edge of the field, I laid the Thompson Center Impact on the lead doe and weighed my options. I knew the shot was going to be quite a poke, and I was having some doubts about taking the shot. A hundred and fifty yards is nothing to sneeze at, and I was second guessing myself. Jeff kept filling my head with confidence, though, as I turned the scope to 9 power.
With the film rolling, I laid the crosshairs even with her backbone, took a deep breath, slowly let it out, and gently pulled the trigger. A cloud of smoke ensued; in fact, a cloud of smoke was all we could see. We couldn’t see where the deer went, nor if I had even touched her. I loaded another round and headed toward where she stood.
While I combed the ground near the impact with a flashlight, Jeff headed toward the trail these deer were using. And as he came back toward me, he asked for my flashlight and said that there were “large tracks” over there and that I should come check them out. I gave Jeff the flashlight, and while shining it in my face – with the camera still rolling – he informed me that my doe was laying in the trail not forty yards from where I shot her.
My reaction on camera is awesome and completely genuine.
It was an awesome feeling to finally have a deer on the ground; and to have this deer come at the end of this weekend, after all of us have had to deal with many emotions while dealing with the horrible Connecticut shooting, was completely bittersweet. It was a nice change of pace, and I loved getting to share this deer with my family at the end of the night, and to know that we’ll be able to enjoy it together at the table as well.
And you can call me a mediocre hunter. You can call me an okay hunter. You can call me what you will, but one thing I wasn’t about to let anyone call me was a quitter.
Perseverance and persistence finally did pay off.
It’s an awesome feeling, and I’m glad this three year slump has come to a close.