We haven’t been able to go out hunting for the last 2 weeks, so I don’t have any new hunting stories to share. Due to my lack of hunting I have been reflecting a lot lately on some of my past hunts. I couldn’t help but laugh as I remembered a particular hunt that took place 3 years ago.
It was a slow August afternoon and I had just got back to the truck after my morning hunt. I was exhausted from my hike back to the car, and I was ready to eat some lunch. It was a very cold morning that turned into a very hot afternoon. As a result I was burning up due to the layers I had to wear to stay warm in the morning. I quickly changed out of my warm clothes and started preparing my lunch. As I was preparing my lunch I heard a dog barking, I looked around to see where the dog was and I saw a family walking up the meadow with their dog running all over. I was frustrated that they were making so much noise because usually we see deer crossing back and forth through this meadow as we eat our lunch. I continued to watch as this family made their way up the meadow, wondering if they had any idea they were walking through some of the best hunting grounds during the opening weekend of the deer hunt.
This meadow is a rather unique meadow in that it is very long and it seperates the pines from the quakies. It is on the top of a ridge, and as you look down the meadow you have pines on your right and Quakies on your left. To the left of the meadow there is a long strip of pines just before you get to the quakes. We refer to the section between the quakies and the long strip of pines as “The Alley”. Deer cross back and forth between the pines and quakies all day long, so the meadow is a great place to eat lunch in the afternoon.
As I was preparing my lunch I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye that I knew was not the families dog. I turned to look and sure enough a 2 point had emerged from the pines and was headed to the quakes. He was about 100 yards away broadside, but I could not shoot because he was in between myself and the family. I grabbed my bow and started heading over to the alley, the buck was headed that direction and this would provide the lane I needed to shoot safely. The buck was spooked as it came out of the pines so I knew it would be very jumpy once it heard the dog. I quietly jogged over to the alley and once I was behind the strip of pines I started sprinting down the alley to position for my shot. I was staying close to the pines because there was a trail that would allow me to run full speed. Anyone that has run in the woods, with a bow, knows how difficult it can be to focus on the trail as you run so you don’t trip and fall. I wanted to get to where I would have a 20 yard shot at the buck as he headed down to the quakes. As I turned a corner full speed I looked up to see the 2 point running at me full speed as well. We saw each other with about 5 yards to spare and it stopped us in our tracks. We looked at each other scared to death for a second , and then he turned and ran down the hill before I could pull back.
To this day I wish I wouldn’t have stopped running!