Deer Hunting

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It was a beautiful October afternoon as I climbed to the top of my tree stand. The sun was shining, and a slight breeze was blowing from the northwest. I knew that the deer frequented the area around my stand since my step-dad had shot a nice doe two days earlier from the same stand, and signs of deer were everywhere in the area. I had been sitting for close to two hours when I decided to stand up and stretch my legs as well as smoke a cigarette.

I was nearly finished with my cigarette when behind me I heard the sound of something moving through the grass. I quickly but quietly extinguished my cigarette in the palm of my gloved hand and turned around. My eyes scanned to see exactly where the sounds had come from, and I only hoped that the smell of my cigarette hadn't spooked whatever was walking behind me. After about ten seconds I saw the ears of a deer sticking up above the tall grass about thirty yards from me. I slowly reached to my right to remove my bow from a hook in the tree. The deer was now moving towards me through the long grass, and behind it was another deer. I knew that the rut (the peak mating season) was well under way and this second deer may be a buck. After what seemed like an eternity the second deer came into view. It was a buck, as I had thought, but it was bigger than any deer I had ever seen.

My heart began to beat very rapidly and I breathed deeply to try to calm myself. These deer would step into a clearing in a few feet, and I needed to try to be calm to make a good shot. I picked a spot where I thought that the buck would pass and estimated the distance. I guessed the range to be fifteen yards and waited. I let the doe pass through my ...

... middle of paper ... She bolted to my right and out into an open field. When the doe spooked, this time so did the buck, ending my hopes of another shot.

I waited for around thirty minutes and climbed down from my stand. I walked to the spot where the deer had been standing and recovered my arrow. I paced the distance from the arrow back to the tree where my stand was placed. The distance was twenty yards, only a five-yard difference off my estimate, but a drop of a foot in the trajectory of my arrow. This was a small but costly error on my part, even though I considered myself to be a good judge of distance.

Even with the disappointment of not bagging this magnificent buck a smile came to my face. Just the possibility of merely seeing one of these beautiful animals is enough to keep me going back to the woods for a lifetime.
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