By R. Dale Johnson
-- Hunting is a big part of life for most people in this part of North Carolina. I was brought up on deer hunting but was never taught the right way to hunt. I started watching Buckmasters and Realtree hunting shows and learned a lot of tips and tactics that have helped me in the field over the years.
Deer in this part of the country are few and far between. A 130-inch deer is big to most people.
My wife and I started hunting together on a 63-acre lot that is just inside the city limits of the town we lived in. I never thought that there would be so many deer that close to town. The first year we had the lease we just watched and tried to pattern the deer so we could set it up for bowhunting the following year.
The following season arrived. On opening day I was in my stand and it was 90 degrees. I was certain that I would not see any deer. Then, out of nowhere, two bucks and three does were in front of me just 25 yards away. I did not want to move an inch.
Sweat was dripping every where, and I was waiting to get winded. Somehow, the wind stayed in my favor. Four of the deer stepped out of range. Finally, I found an opportunity to draw back my bow on the fifth deer, which was an 8-point buck in velvet.
During that same season, I harvested a smaller buck and a doe. As it is, I was reminded that all good things must come to an end when the owner sold the property. That was the end of my most productive hunting season to date.
R. Dale Johnson
Newton, North Carolina
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