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A Second Chance

McDugleBy Kevin W. McDugle

-- Nov. 2, 3007, I waited patiently with my muzzleloader in my treestand to see what whitetails would dare to show. As it always happens, a large white-tailed buck appeared but was too far away for a shot. The rack was huge.

I was so excited to see such a big buck in the area. I had seen the rubs and scrapes left behind by a big buck, which was an awesome sight. But to see the brute responsible for these signs was even better. I wanted to go see where it had crossed, but I kept telling myself to have patience. 

Fifteen minutes later, a young buck with six or eight points crossed in the same area. By this time, I was about to jump out of my skin to find out where these deer were coming from. As every hunter knows, the best hunting area is one other than where you are at the present moment. Ten more minutes clicked by, and I could wait no longer.

I began the descent from my treestand and noticed two bucks and a doe were behind me. If I had only set still for a few more minutes, they would have walked directly under the stand. Since I was halfway out of the tree, I could not get off a shot. I had just blown the opportunity to take 10-point buck. The day ended without much fanfare.

The next morning, I sat still after learning my lesson in hunting patience, while I thought about the bucks from the previous day. Then, out of nowhere a huge buck appeared. It was hot on the trail of a doe.

I took aim and made a clean shot. The buck was down.

I am so glad that when we mess up we tend to receive a second chance. It is always nice to know that no matter how big of a deer you get today there is always a bigger one out there.

Kevin W. McDugle
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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