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Stickers!

Carla Schartz

Lady Luck is No One Hit Wonder

By Carla Schartz

As my third year of deer hunting arrived, self-doubt had crept in. Was I truly a hunter?

Being a female in a male dominated sport, I began to second guess myself.

However, my husband, Lance, assured me I was the real deal.

Last year, I was fortunate to arrow my first deer, a buck scoring 141-inches and featured in the September issue of Buckmasters Magazine. This earned me an invitation to The Revolution, a nationally broadcasted radio show hosted by Jim and Travis Ferguson.

Still, I wondered if Lady Luck would reappear for me, or was I just a one hit wonder? I'd find out on October 26, 2012.

The wind direction that day was ideal for sitting in a stand we call the Honey Hole; a spot frequented by a mature, massive mainframe 10-pointer with sticker points on both P2s.

We nicknamed the buck Stickers and the mere thought of encountering that animal brought buck fever symptoms flooding throughout my body and mind.

Stickers was a beautiful buck, one all hunters dream of and some might dedicate a lifetime hunting to. I longed for that buck, but didn't feel quite worthy of taking it yet.

During the 40-minute drive to our spot, I sang off-key to every song on the radio, as happy and excited as a kid in a candy store!

As we got closer to the property, my husband and I discussed every possible scenario should Stickers appear, and I optimistically kept thinking tonight's the night.

Eager to get into my stand, I shouldered my stunning Mathews Jewel compound bow and slowly paced behind Lance. Camera in hand, we documented each step of the way.

Everything was going as scripted until the moment I spotted a flash of white and a giant-bodied deer running away, across the creek bottom and out of sight.

My heart sank to the pit of my stomach and tears literally filled my eyes. We had just spooked Stickers. I was crushed!

We backed out, made a long, cautious loop around the area and eventually reached our stands.

Not a word was spoken until Lance smiled and said, "Hey, at least we know he's home!" I nodded and tried to laugh.

For the next two hours nothing kept us company except a chunky little squirrel with an enormous appetite.

Carla SchartzEventually, I needed to stretch. I slowly stood in my stand was in the middle of mouthing a few words to Lance when, without warning, I spotted Stickers stopping by for a visit!

My breath escaped me, and I excitedly pointed toward the beast making a rub on a small sapling 33 yards away.

I carefully picked up my bow and hid behind the tree, peeking out to watch my dream deer make a rub.

Stickers continued to work on his rub for the next four minutes, which in a hunter's world is an eternity!

Thoughts raced through my mind as I tried calming every ounce of my body. One question remained constant: would this incredible buck give me a shot?

Just when I thought my night couldn't get any more exciting, I heard ruffling to my left, and to my surprise, there was a doe.

Stickers immediately spotted the doe and walked her way.

Oh my gosh! My legs, hands and entire body shook with anticipation of what could be.

I leaned my head and body against the tree in an attempt to calm my nerves and hold my bow still. I just knew I'd spook it again if I didn't get my act together.

Stickers eventually committed to the path directly in front of me and moved toward the doe. The massive buck stopped and stared at us several times, as if trying to solve a puzzle, but perfect wind direction and the nearby doe tilted the odds in our favor.

As I peeked around the tree, my eyes and ears could not believe what happened next. With pinned ears and a stout tail, Stickers snort-wheezed.

I was absolutely amazed, having only heard about a snort-wheeze but I never actually had seen and heard one in person. I thought I must've been dreaming!

Hunting Stories Wanted!Finally, after waiting and watching the monster for nearly ten minutes, Stickers made its way into my line of sight.

I stood as still as a statue, watching the majestic buck walk in front of me at 25 yards. The moment all hunters dream and prepare for was now at hand.

Stickers turned broadside and bent to sniff the exact spot we'd walked in earlier. I could tell it had put the pieces of the puzzle together - we were busted!

Looking up, as if into my eyes, both woman and deer stood frozen in time. It was too late for the buck because I'd already drawn my bow and had my sights set on its vitals and released my arrow. Pass through!

I watched the giant run about 40 yards, and then, the final surreal moment occurred. My dream deer, my Stickers, went down in plain view!

A flood of emotions rushed through me, and I was unable to contain my excitement. My husband and I, exhausted from adrenaline, recapped the perfect storm that had just blown over us.

It was an unimaginable hunt, and we captured it all on video.

Now, I no longer doubt my hunting abilities. I AM a hunter, and not a one hit wonder. As far as I'm concerned, lady luck will forever remain on my side!

Author's Note: I'm thankful for the selfless hearts of two wonderful friends: Tom and Frieda Smith. Thank you for allowing us hunt on your amazing property.

Also, Royer Hunts, we appreciate all of your support! www.royerhunts.com

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