I took my first deer yesterday morning. No bait, no blind, no stand. No special camo or scent blocker or any of that. Just spot and stalk, hunting into the wind.
This was my fourth hunt this year, and it was the first legal deer I'd seen. I'd been hunting pretty hard all morning, and I had already heard three shots nearby. I figured most of the deer had probably run into another training area, and I was about to call it a day. Before heading home, I decided to hunt a draw in the far north end of the training area (wind blowing north by northeast.)
When I found the draw, I could smell the deer in it. It smelled almost like horses, i swear, only very faint. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me, I wanted a deer so bad! And the tracks, there were tracks everywhere in every direction, probably a dozen different animals. I thought, they must be rutting down here. I found a place to hide in a cluster of scrub oaks downwind of the draw, where i had a nice open field of fire and I could see the hillside on the north end of the draw. I tried to be patient and wait, but I needed to get home and do Christmas decorations, among other things, and my patience was wearing thin. About 10 AM, I decided to push down into the draw to see if I could jump one.
He was bedded down in the bottom of the draw with a couple of does where I jumped him. As soon as I saw the antlers, my heart jumped into my throat and the adrenaline flowed like crazy! I backed out uphill to the south so I could see where he ran, and it was so hard to keep my eyes on him. I lost sight of him a couple of times, but the draw was so thick i could hear him ripping through it. Then he stopped on the hillside to the north and tried to smell me. Luckily I had a perfect view. He stretched his neck out, head held high, and I shot him in the neck with my .243. He fell dead where he stood.
I still get the shakes just thinking about it! I don't know how I was able to hold steady when I shot him. I was calling on the Lord when i put the crosshairs on his neck, and I had tunnel vision when I pulled the trigger.
Thank the Lord! I feel so blessed for my first deer to be such a nice buck. He weighed 146 pounds and was about 3.5 years old according to the biologist at the check in station. Here's a picture of my deer...