The headlamps caused crazy looking shadows as we picked along the old trail towards our morning sitting spots. One of my sons and myself were out for a November deer hunt. About a kilometer in, Darren continued north to a marshy meadow cut through the center by a winding brook. I turned west towards a poplar ridge.
About 5 minutes after splitting up I heard the telltale tha thump, tha thump of a deer bounding through the woods in front of me. I quickly turned off the headlamp and tried to keep still - it didn't sound like it went very far.
My feet were getting cold standing on the wet moss, waiting for the sun to provide more light into the woods. Every once in a while I thought I could hear a twig snap or a crunch of the frost covered leaves. It seemed like hours but it was likely more like 30 minutes before I could see clearly enough to make out details on the branches and ground 50 yards or so around me
Carefully pulling out the call I made one short grunt - instant reaction. I could hear a deer snapping twigs and what sounded like a huge pile of leaves being pushed around. Was it making a scrape or something? Then total silence. After a couple minutes, I grunted again - immediately I heard antler on wood - making a rub? No time to figure it out because here he comes, striding out of the thick brush to my left and heading on a bee line towards me. A young buck with 10 inch spikes.
Gun was already up and I remember thinking - this is pretty cool. When he kept coming straight for me that thought changed to - my soft belly isn't going to stop those sharp 10 inch spikes at all. Dont know why I didn't move or yell or something - I just pulled the trigger.
At the roar of the old 12 gauge the deer dropped in a heap. I laid the gun straight down on the ground. It was 3 paces from the muzzle to the deer.
I kept that 10 inch set of spikes (to me its a trophy) to remind me that its not the size of the critter that makes the hunt - its the experience.
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