-By Rich Miller
For the past couple of years we have been in a drought where I live in the South, but for the last week it has done nothing but rain. I don’t know if Mother Nature wasn’t ready for everyone to hit the woods on the 15th but she did a good job on making it hard to hunt. Last Tuesday when our archery season opened it rained pretty much all day. We had a lot of pictures of some really nice bucks using our food plot on a regular basis and had planned on getting one of these deer on film.
We hung out under the barn waiting on the rain to break until about four o’clock and decided we better go ahead and get in the stands in case the deer moved a little early that afternoon. The rain did eventually quit shortly after we were settled in our stands but as hunting goes we never saw a deer that afternoon.
With work and family obligations I didn’t have a chance to get back into the woods until Friday afternoon and yes you guessed it, it was raining again. I didn’t care if it was raining or not I had decided that I was going anyway. Plus I had checked the radar and it looked like it was going to clear up within an hour or so. The good thing about the rain was it made it really quiet getting to the stand. I got my climber up the tree and settled in and after pulling my bow up I turned around and noticed a deer standing about sixty yards down the ridge. These two spotted fawns stayed in the area for about twenty minutes before they fed back into the thicket where they came from.
Shortly after the two fawns left the rain stopped and the sun started to stick its head out. It was good to see the sun out but at least I had seen deer when it was raining. I wasn’t seeing anything so I just sat back in the stand and enjoyed being in a deer stand full of anticipation and excitement. It had been months since I had that feeling.
As I was soaking in all of Mother Nature’s sights and sounds my evenings hunt was quickly coming to an end. I don’t know where my mind was at the time but I looked up and I noticed a color behind a dead bush that hadn’t been there previously. As I stared at it I saw an ear move and then put the shape together - it was a big bodied deer. The deer was already in range so I just stood up and carefully reached for my bow. I still hadn’t seen the deer’s head gear but I just wanted to be ready because the body of the deer was so big. Eventually the deer moved its head out from behind the bush and I got a good look at his rack and knew immediately he was a shooter.
When I did get a good look at his rack I knew why I couldn’t see them when he was behind that bush, his antlers were so dark they were almost black. Fortunately for me the buck was on a trail that was going to lead him within 15-yards of the tree I was in. When the buck’s head passed behind a tree that was between us I stuck an arrow through both lungs for what I felt like was a perfect shot. As usual the buck immediately took off in another direction but in a matter of seconds I heard a big crash and then it went quiet. That’s when the adrenaline kicked in and I got the feeling that no drug can produce and what a feeling it was. It was only a couple of days into our deer season and I already had a great buck on the ground.
By the time I got my stand off of the tree and found my buck it was dark and I still had a long walk and a lot of work to do. It was a good thing my cousin Greg was kind enough to help me get the deer out of the woods, get him field dressed, and to the processer. I was sure glad that he was there to help out but it was even better having him there to share the hunt and celebrate with.