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The Grunt That Saved the Season

QuerioBy Denis C. Querio

-- Let me preface this story by informing you that I am handicapped and must wear a full brace on my left leg to walk properly.

It was the last day of the 1998 archery season. A friend of mine took me to his uncle’s farm to hunt whitetails. When I got there, I realized there was very little cover in which to hide. I can’t hunt from a tree stand, so the only other option was to sit on the ground, two or three rows into a standing corn field overlooking a small clover field.

I was hoping to spot a big deer on one of the traills leading to the field. Although the winds were gusting, I hunted until about 4:30 p.m. 

The end of the season was only about an hour away. There was absolutely no indication of any deer movement, so I decided to try my grunt call. I was surprised to hear a grunt response directly behind me. Thinking I might have imagined it, I grunted again and immediately heard very loud grunting and the crashing of corn stalks. Something was coming in, and fast!

I could not stand up because of my leg brace, so I hurried to turn around to face the noise. I was now looking a wall of standing corn, but the crashing kept coming closer. I thought to myself, “Hunting from the ground can be dangerous.”
But then the crashing stopped and all I heard was the wind. When I stared in the direction I’d heard the crashing, I could see a massive buck through the corn stalks. 

There was no opening for a shot, however. The buck turned toward the clover field that I was originally watching. I slowly began to slide backwards so that my upper body was out in the field and the bottom part was still in the corn.
Placing my crossbow on my chest, I pointed to where I thought the buck would emerge. Ears straight down, he stepped onto the clover field grunting and snorting at just 25 steps. Although I was very nervous, I concentrated, aimed and shot my crossbow. The bolt went through both lungs. 

Lying on my back, I said to myself “I’m getting too old for this.” It was the most intense and exciting hunt I’ve ever experienced. The buck dressed out at 231 pounds and scored 138.

--Denis C. Querio

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