Another squirrel rustling in the leaves, I muse, as the morning sun is poking over the horizon. No, wait, those are heavy footsteps that I hear. I turn slowly and find a 9 point buck looking right at me. Although I am 16 feet off the ground and have sides on my stand to block the wind, the Buck still sees my head move just a bit.
I sit ever so still not looking directly at him not wanting to make direct eye to eye contact. One thing I know for sure, my hunt has been successful for this year and it is only 1/2 into the season. I found a place to ambush a Buck and I have done just that. Shooting is just a formality.
I am in no hurry to end the life of this majestic animal, but I am looking to put some meat in the freezer so I am not going to let him get away either. I watch as he slowly pokes around looking for a few morsels of food while also sniffing the ground for a lady friend. It is the dating season and he is alone. I have learned a great deal from watching these animals as they mill around my stand many times totally unaware of my presence.
I must be careful not to move to fast or make any noise, otherwise I will have to color him, GONE! He is not totally at ease as he looks up in my direction every so often. I allow him to get a little ways away from me to minimize the movement that he may detect.
Slowly I raise my firearm and settle the crosshairs on his rib cage. A humane shot that will not ruin any of the tasty meat that I am after. While he is standing still, I squeeze off the shot, and away he runs. But not far. 40 maybe 50 feet and he again stops looking back, not sure what has just happened. He takes one step and falls over. His life has expired.
Years ago, when I first started hunting this was a time to yell in triumph! But, not today. I feel I have matured as a hunter. I no longer HAVE to shoot a deer in order to feel like I am successful.
I climb down out my stand and walk over to where the Buck lies. He is a beautiful animal. The couse hollow hair that adorns his body lie mostly undisturbed. I run my hand down the Bucks neck and across his shoulder, close my eyes and bow my head…
Dear Heavenly Father. Thank You for the bounty that you have provided. Know that this animal has given his life and will be food for my winter and that his life was not in vain.