Like everyone else who walked into the woods that frigid morning two weeks ago, my son and I had high hopes for the deer season. There were good numbers of deer and we had an extra management tag. Over the years, however, I've learned you cannot count on DNR reports and assessments. A buck can come out of nowhere and make your season great, or you might not see a deer.
This year was one of the good seasons. Just 15 minutes into legal shooting time a deer appeared in the distance. It was a long way out and I whispered to Trevor that it would be a tough shot but that he could try it if he wanted. Of course he wanted to take the shot. His two older brothers had shot deer their first year and he was anxious to match their success.
His shot shattered the cold morning air. The deer leaped into the woods. The plan was for him to take the first shot and for me to pitch in if the deer took off. In unison we fired at the running animal and heard the sound of a bullet striking the deer. Though it appeared to be hit, the deer continued to run into the woods.
I was certain it wouldn't go far, but a distant shot made me wonder if it hadn't reached another hunter. We were anxious to find out, but good hunters give a deer plenty of time to give up the ghost before chasing after it.
After what seem like eternity we headed into the field and found the deer's tracks in the snow. We followed them across a field and into woods. There in the brush was the deer, with two points on one antler and a broken tip on the other.
It was a great moment. The morning sun made the snow-covered field dazzling. The season wasn't two hours old and we had a buck.
As we loaded the deer into the truck, I told my son this was one of the best moments in hunting. Getting a deer, especially a buck, early on opening morning is rare. We didn't know who had made the killing shot so we considered it our deer together. Trevor filled our management tag the next day with a nice doe.
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