By Bill Ryan
-- I awoke to pouring rain on Dec. 23, 2006. Disappointed, I went back to sleep. Around 8 a.m. I looked out the bedroom window to see a clearing sky. I decided to give the treestand in my back woods a try.
I grabbed my bow and walked the 60 yards into the woods and began grunting. This would be the first time for me to let out some soft bleets and buck growls, which did not sound perfect.
A bedded doe on a ridge below my stand kept returning the calls. I decided to stop and sit quietly since it didn't seem to be working. After a short time, I heard movement and saw a buck was making its way up the ridge. The sun was getting brighter and the morning warmer. I was hoping the buck could not smell me. He cautiously walked within 20 yards.
I didn't fixate on the size, but decided rather to get the job done. I drew back and waited for the right moment. The arrow connected, the buck snorted and ran off. I sat down on my stand and started to breathe again.
All kinds of thoughts went through my head, including the thought that I missed the buck altogether. I could not wait and eventually ran down to where I thought the arrow hit the deer. It had passed right through and was bright red. I ran back to the house yelling, "I got one! I got one!"
I dropped all my equipment and grabbed my backpack and cell phone. The buck was down about 100 yards away. I looked at the phone, and it was only 10:15. I called my brother-in-law and screamed, "I got one!" He asked if I watched the field-dressing video he gave me. I informed him that I had. He told me to call him back after I cleaned the buck.
The video made the process of cleaning a deer look easy and quick. My version took a little longer. The big guy had 8 points with a 17-inch spread and weighed 162 pounds dressed out. This was a great Christmas present for my first deer. This buck truly is a treasure.
White Hall, Maryland