Stuart’s 2017 Buck

I hear sticks cracking and the grunting sound of a buck that always reminds me of a pig waiting to be fed. I have been “resting my eyes,” as my grandma calls it. It is still only 3:30 in the afternoon, and I didn’t expect to see any deer for at least another hour. I reach over and turn on my camera, which sits atop a bipod several feet to my right. I think the sounds are coming from behind me, across a fence and an impenetrable downed tree. Instead, I see a doe streaking across the top of the ridge, her focus entirely on finding a hiding spot somewhere in the sparse timber. Thirty yards behind her follows a buck focused entirely on not letting that happen. The doe disappears into the cover a hundred yards away and I soon lose sight of the buck as well.

I know the buck. I filmed him from the same stand in late October. By stand I mean a spot on the ground near a scrape. I didn’t bring a blind or tree stand or even a chair with me. I hoped by the time the deer noticed me, I would already have my bow drawn. The tree I leaned against had split in half and one side remained standing while the other lie on the ground. My sat bow across my lap.

Again I hear the deer moving and believe they are behind me, on the other side of the fence. I begin recording as I listen to the doe approach. Slowly she comes closer. I wait on one side of the tree while she moves to within ten yards on the other. Suddenly, she spooks, but instead of turning and running in the opposite direction, towards the buck, she crosses in front of me at five yards. The buck crashes out of the timber and directly toward the tree I am sitting under. I raise my bow quickly in a last ditch effort to salvage the hunt. As I come to full draw, the buck’s aggression turns to confusion, and it turns to run. I bleat at him in the most pleading way I know. “Meh Meeeehh Meeeeehhhhhh.” For some reason the buck turns and looks back. Maybe I sounded too sexy too resist. At this point the buck is standing broadside behind a tree at thirty yards. Seconds drip by slowly. I take a final glance at my camera and am assured the footage will turn out well. The buck takes two unsure steps into an opening. The arrow connects slightly high. Immediately, blood pours out. He runs up over a small rise, and I hear a crash as my season ends.

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