Last year’s Thanksgiving was a special one. I had just acquired a piece of private land. While I’ve always hunted deer, turkey and ducks with firearms, this was my first season with a compound bow.
It was a cool, crisp morning with freezing rain. I had been sitting up in a tree for 2 hours just waiting, before coming to the conclusion that the deer were all bedded down. So, I decided to venture out and push towards where I had seen them on my scouting trips. Masked by the rain, I covered ground quickly and quietly.
As I walked, the constant white noise of rainfall and birds chirping was suddenly interrupted by a snap of a twig. For a second I thought it was me, but all at once all the noise around me was muffled by the sound of my own heartbeat ringing in my ears. I looked up and there he was, an 8-point buck, glaring in my direction.
As the buck gradually approached, I stood there, frozen in awe. It felt like an eternity. From 50 yards away, he moved another 10 closer, until an oak tree obscured his line of sight. I remember it all vividly. Everything almost happened simultaneously. I could see the steam coming off of him as his head peeked beyond the tree. The musty smell of wet deer fur. My heartbeat pounding in my ears... It felt like a scene out of Jeremiah Johnson.
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