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Almost Déjà vu

SmithBy David W. Smith
-- When I struck out on opening day of Texas’ 2008 deer season with my new bottle of doe urine, I headed for the spot where I’d taken my first buck. I’d shot the 9-pointer during the last hour of another opening day, and I was eager to experience déjà vu.

I was in my blind from morning until dark, but it didn’t happen.

I was back in the saddle on Friday morning, Nov. 7. In order to claim my spot, I’d slept in my truck at the parking place. It was still dark when I awoke.

It rained that night, and the wet leaves made for quiet traveling. After I got to my spot and set up the blind, I set out some pellets and sprayed estrous doe urine around the area before climbing inside.

When the sun rose, the birds and the squirrels were active and making lots of racket. Acorns were falling, too, which added to the noise. At about 9:00, the wind started blowing out of the southeast, which meant I was suddenly upwind of where I expected deer to appear.

Thirty minutes later, I decided I needed to move. I followed a trail to the other side of the creek bed and leaned against a tree. I was scanning the lower part of the trail where I’d shot my 9-pointer when my gaze shifted left and a buck came into view.

A big 9-pointer was following the same trail I’d crossed just 10 minutes earlier. He covered another 10 yards while I lifted my rifle and peered through the scope, which revealed nothing. For some reason, I could not find him in the crosshairs. When I looked up, however, he was still there.

Once again, I looked through my scope.


As soon as the crosshairs floated over the buck’s right shoulder, I squeezed the trigger. The .30-06’s bark signaled the deer’s demise. The shot took out both lungs and the top of the boiler room.

The quarter-mile drag back to my truck was up and down hills. I tied one end of cord to the deer and attached the other to a 2-foot-long branch I used as a handle. It took me an hour and a half.

After I wrestled it into the truck, I wrapped it in a tarp. When I got home, my wife was thrilled to learn that we had fresh venison.

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