posted on August 01, 2011 07:11
While a lot of deer hunters find sleep difficult on the eve of opening day, Bob Richardson made no effort to get out of bed when the alarm clock sounded. He might've remained there, too, had his wife, Melody, not rousted him.
"Your alarm went off," she mumbled.
"Yes, I know," he said, eyes still shut.
"Aren't you going hunting?"
"There's probably no point."
It wasn't that the 55-year-old preacher needed the sleep. He was just weary of climbing into his favorite ladder stand and seeing nothing.
That hadn't been the case during the early days in 2010, but during the 14 days leading up to Illinois' first shotgun season, he'd seen not a hair. He was thinking about all those wasted hours when his wife's voice again drifted over the bedcovers.
"So there was a point to buying all those deer tags and equipment?"
He got up out of bed.
Bob's favorite ladder stand was on 65 acres managed by a friend, who'd invited him to hunt. Daylight was breaking by the time he reached the farm, so rather than walk to the ladder, he decided to remain on the ground and watch a mown swath of CRP.
About 6:45, a doe and a huge buck ran across it at 200 yards, heading for the adjacent cornfield. Not content to wait and hope they'd come back, Bob snuck close enough to see into the field.
When he eased up like a cheetah in tall grass, he saw a doe, a tall-racked 8-pointer and a couple of small bucks. There was no sign of the mature stud he'd seen chasing a doe, at first. But then he saw a deer's back just beyond the field's crown, and when it lifted its head, Bob's eyes grew big as boiled eggs.
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