By Dennis Webbert
-- As I headed to our hunting camp, a good of friend of mine called to tell me that it had been raining nearly all day. I hung up the phone and thought about turning back to the house. However, I heard reports from two other friends that the bucks were up and moving, so I pressed on to the club thinking that this might be my lucky day. Boy, was it ever!
I made it to my hunting club around 4 p.m. and had one big decision to make. Should I take my rifle or bow? I decided that the rifle would be my weapon of choice. With that decision made, I unloaded my gear and was in the stand by 4:45.
The stand is located along the outside edge of a swamp overlooking an area of pines. From here I could see deer going in or coming out of the swamp. I was in my stand for about an hour, all the while fighting my heavy eyelids and relying on a ThermaCELL to keep the mosquitoes at bay, when I noticed that the wind direction was perfect due to the small puffs of smoke emitted from the ThermaCell.
As I scanned the pines, a doe worked her way toward my stand. Eventually, she walked directly underneath me, crossing the path I took to get to the treestand. At that moment, I wished I had brought my bow.
Without warning, the doe bolted for the swamp. A few seconds passed and I heard a grunt. I looked up to see a buck following the path the doe had taken. It moved closer and closer to my stand.
As it inched forward, I shouldered my rifle and tried to keep myself together. The buck was so close that I had to turn the scope's power down to its minimum to get this buck into view. The buck stopped 20 yards away behind a pine tree.
By this time, I was praying that the buck would not get a whiff of me - an intruder in its home. My brain was working overtime. Should I take the shot now or wait? The question was asked, and it took a split second for me to decide. I put the crosshairs on its neck, took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger. BOOM! I looked up after I shot and saw the buck on its back.
I sighed with relief, thanked God, thanked Him some more, thought of my dad and told myself I finally did it. This is the fifth deer I have taken. The four other deer were small bucks. As I sat in the stand I really did not know how big of a deer I had on the ground down there. I just knew that there were a lot of antlers sticking up from its head.
This is a hunt I'll never forget.
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