By Larry Porter
-- It was a hot November day in western Tennessee. It was not a day that you would think much about deer hunting. The mosquitoes were out, and it was about 80 degrees. But I had two hours before my daughter's basketball game, and I was itching to go deer hunting. Most people hunt for food in this part of Tennessee. With all of the hunting pressure, a buck rarely lives past its second birthday. Finding a trophy deer in Weakley County is like finding a needle in a haystack.
As I waited for my daughter to get home so we could shoot some free throws before the big game I couldn't help but think about deer hunting. My daughter arrived home after what she called a hard day and said she just wanted to just rest and for me to go deer hunting alone.
I had joined a deer hunting club this year with some of my buddies, and this would be my first time to hunt the property. I went by and picked up my son's muzzleloader and got my mosquito spray. Off I went as it was only 10 minutes from the house. I thought this could be as much of a scouting trip as a hunting trip, since I knew nothing about the farm I was about to hunt.
I am a handicapped hunter and if it wasn't for my trusty Honda ATV getting me to and from the field, I would have had to give up hunting 25 years ago when I had a massive stroke. I am very blessed that over time I have regained the use of almost everything except my legs, and I can get around with the use of a cane. But with the help of my family and friends, and the grace of God, I have not missed a beat when it comes to hunting and fishing.
As I got to the field, I grabbed the muzzleloader, my fanny pack, my doe-in-estrous scent and my grunt call. It was 4 p.m., and I had an hour and a half to hunt. I always carry a drag rag doused with doe-in-rut scent behind my ATV to help cover my scent and also to attract bucks.
I spotted an area that looks over a bean field down into a river bottom. I stopped at the edge of the bean field and parked in the bushes. After finding a comfortable spot, I settled in. An hour went by and all I had seen were two squirrels. With no deer activity, I decided it couldn't hurt anything to try my old grunt call.
I'm not a professional caller by any means, but I let out a few short grunts. What happened next left me in disbelief. In my 40 years of hunting I've never seen anything like it. This monster buck bolted from a thicket looking for a fight or at least to protect its territory. The buck was headed right at me across the open bean field in full view. It happened so quickly that when the buck stopped it was at 75 yards away. I did not have my muzzleloader ready for the shot.
I managed to get my gun up and get my sights on the buck but it started walking around looking for the other buck. Its hair was all bristled and ears laid back as though it was ready to fight. The buck stopped at 60 yards. I pulled the trigger, and I couldn't see a thing for a couple seconds. When the smoke cleared, all I could see were antlers, big antlers like I've never seen before. I waited 10 minutes to be sure the buck wasn't going to run off. That was the longest 10 minutes of my life.
As I rode up to the deer, I noticed it had some of the longest points I had ever seen on a buck. He had mule deer forks and drop tines on both sides. The deer had a 22 inch spread and weighed 175 pounds. It was the nicest deer that I've ever seen in my lifetime. I've never been a big believer in using a grunt call, but after this hunt I will never be caught without it ever again.
Just when I think life can't get any better, God lets something else unbelievable happen to me. Thank you, God.