Sometime in the 1960’s

As told to me by my uncle (I cleaned up the grammar and language 😊):

I started out that morning with a fresh five inches of snow on the ground.  I worked my way up the first hill behind the homestead and into the pines.  It was a still morning, nary a wind to be felt.  It was just after first light and the songbirds were warming up their vocal cords.

I quickly came across a set of deer tracks that was better than decent in size.  They had to be made recently, as it had stopped snowing less than an hour before.  Without a game plan that morning, I hopped on the tracks to see where they would take me.

I crested a pair of ridges due south, heading toward a transition line where the pines would meet the hardwoods in a series of valleys that led to the river.  I didn’t get far when I noticed the tracks were slowing down, the stride between footsteps shrinking by the step.  The fresh snow my friend under my feet, I crept slowly.  Just below the ridge to my left, the elderly property owner was pounding away with a hammer.  I could easily see his movements through the trees.

I came to a blowdown.  The tracks seemed to go straight through it.  The fallen tree, an old monarch of the forest, had several thin, ill-fitting branches that sprouted in all directions.  I took the barrel of my rifle and moved a few out of the way.  There, behind the shield of the blowdown, was a five-point buck, his head back, eyes closed, fast asleep.  I pulled up the gun and looked through the scope.  The deer was so blurry I had to back up to shoot.  I touched off.  Bang!  The buck never knew what hit him.  Below, the hammering stopped, and the old man bellowed, “Get up in the woods and hunt!”  I must have scared the dickens out of him.

I scurried out of there, leaving my deer where he lay.  I grabbed an extra set of hands to help get the buck out of the woods before I was confronted by the old guy.  It was one of those hunts where the story that accompanies it never gets old.

Author: Whipped Owl

Writer Musician Historian Sportsman Loner

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