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New Old Hunter #4118021 03/13/13 03:00 AM
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Oakysmoker Offline OP
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Thanks to a coworker and good friend I was lucky enough to go on my very first deer hunt. At the time I climbed into my first stand I was a ripe 52 and had only shot the borrowed rifle at a local range once before. But thanks to the incredible kindness of the two guys who set me up in the 'sweet spot' on opening day, my first pull of the trigger translated into meat in the freezer! woot

To say I was instantly hooked would be an understatement. But I also became instantly aware of just how much I didn't know. I really do appreciate the fact that these two hunters were willing to take a chance with an old dude like me. I love working with the Boy Scouts and introducing then to the great outdoors but had never been hunting for anything other than dove, and that was back on the 70's.

A month later I realized just how fortunate I was to get that big doe on opening day. Later, with only three days left in the season I had one last chance. The guys dropped me off on a road and told me the general direction to hike to find the blind. I take off and immediately, as soon as the sound of the truck fades away... I realize I am lost. Fortunately I do know how to backtrack. I made my way back to the road, settled down and headed out again. This time I managed to pick out the trail and made my way to the ground blind about 300 yards away.

Well, at least I wouldn't have to climb up in the dark this time. But, how the hell do I get into this thing? I finally put fingers on the zipper and made my way inside. Nice! There is a chair, sitting on a wood platform, sweet!

This time out I didn't have the luxury of the borrowed rifle I had used of opening day, a tack driving Browning .243 sporting Leupold glass. This time I had to bring what I had, an as issued 1958 Romanian SKS with iron sights. Fortunately the guys decided to llend me a shooting stick, which was also a first for me. After messing with it for about 10m I finally felt I had a really good shooting platform.

The feeder was about 60yds down a rocky slope directly in front of the tent. To my left the hill cut across about half the distance at a 45 degree slope. To the right it opened up, but there was a barbed wire fence about 15yds to the right of the feeder, a potential boundary or perhaps even a property line.

I settle in and waited. After about 45m of nothing...dusk coming on..they started trickling in. At first, due to the tall grass on the sloping hill, I couldn't get a good read on the sizes or colors. Finally they began to move on to the feeder...and I saw big momma stroll into the picture! Oh yes...this is the one I was looking for, easily three...maybe four years old, nice darker color and looking super healthy.

This time I knew to anticipate my adrenaline rush and started lining up on her early. Safety off and iron sights tracking. The only problem was the other deer were blocking the shot. Waiting...waiting. She finally breaks out from the rest and rolls out behind the feeder. Now I begin to engage the creepy SK's trigger...first click made...pressure now just at the break point and the only thing standing between me and some serious freezer meat is the angle iron leg of the feeder itself. Just one more step .....just about there...and...
What I saw next took a few seconds for me to comprehend.....suddenly the deer were all blasting off like popcorn! shocked The feeder was chuckin' corn like crazy! Arrrrrgh! In a heartbeat they had launched over the wire fence and were gone. I couldn't believe it...and then I just felt awful.

The sun was dropping fast, the long shadows already crossing the little draw, soon my old eyes and the equally old rifle would be out of the picture. I settled back in the chair and resolved to be thankful for the one deer I had been fortunate enough to take on opening day. So there I sat for the next 20 minutes, feeling pretty much gut punched and twitchy...when much to my surprise I heard a huge 'snort' just behind the tent. Dang! That was a big critter, and close too!

A few minutes later...with the light quickly fading away..I blinked and rubbed my eyes in disbelief as deer after deer began making their way back over the fence to the feeder! I might still have a chance! After another 5 min. I realized that the really big doe, the one I called 'Big Momma', was not going to show. It was probably her that circled around and flanked me. Coming back down into the draw from the higher elevation she had caught a whiff of me in the tent.....which I had failed to zip up.

But there, at last, appeared a nice sized doe, probably 20 lbs lighter than her big sister. She made her way through the fence and began to slurp up the corn in front of the feeder. This time I was more than ready and with just enough light to make out the sights I let it fly. She scrunched and then bounded once...clearing my vantage point and disappeared behind the sloping hill on my left. I sat for a bit (as my buddies had told me to do) before crawling out and looking for her. The blood trail was easy to see..the round had passed through. I found her.about 20 yds away laying in some brush. Yay!

This was my first time to take a deer solo...and I knew the trail back was a good 300+ yards up hill through the woods. I drug her out back to the feeder and then hiked my gear back to the road so my buddies could see it. I then took the rifle sling with me back to get the deer.
I fashioned a the sling around her rear legs and started to drag her out. Man, that sure made me realize how out of shape I was. I stopped and thought, why not just carry her out on my shoulders? Sure would be faster. So as best as I could I squatted down and... grabbing the legs....rolled the deer up onto my shoulders. Standing up was not pretty...but I did! Then I began to feel my back and shirt just getting warm...with the blood that was now pouring freely out and down my entire backside. Not my best move.

Now looking like I had wrestled with zombies I reworked the rifle sling into a decent harness and drug the deer all the way back to the roadbed. By the time I got there my heart was pounding in ears. My buddies were pleasantly surprised to see everything there ready to be loaded. Seeing my blood drenched clothes they said, 'Next time try using the rifle to kill the deer, tain't near as messy'.

What a fantastic day and a great memory. I am really looking forward to next season. Now I am just trying to learn everything I can. This forum has wonderful stories and lots of information about hunting deer in Texas. I've got a lot of lost years to make up for and this place is a great resource for a new old guy like me!






Last edited by Oakysmoker; 03/13/13 01:12 PM. Reason: Long post

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Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Oakysmoker] #4118735 03/13/13 02:29 PM
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Good story! Glad you were in the right spot at the right time.

BTW -

welcome to the campfire....


HnF

"Prayer is when you talk to the Lord, Meditation is when you listen to what he says"
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Oakysmoker] #4118743 03/13/13 02:33 PM
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welcome

Glad you had some good buddies that took you hunting so you could experience how fun/addicting it is. Cool story and congrats on your first two kills.

Re: New Old Hunter [Re: DocBailey] #4118817 03/13/13 02:57 PM
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Good story!!! Now you are hooked!!!


I support Cap and Trade - Cap our spending and Trade Obama

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Seadog] #4120054 03/14/13 01:12 AM
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Yep, I guess a lot of us felt kinda strong after killing our first deer. Mine was a medium sized buck with four points on one side and the other broken off. Killed with a borrowed 30-40 Krag w/open sites. But he was mine even if I was almost a mile from the vehicle. So, I did the same and hoisted it upon my shoulder and took off, only to discover my back getting colder and colder, oops, back on the ground and a lot of dragging. Got him back to the car, 1949 ford 2 door coupe. Then after my brother got back to the car we discovered, no hunting knife, only a half sharp pocket knife. First deer ever dressed, bloody all the way to the arm pits. Finally found a stock tank and took an ice cold half bath. I have never forgot that 1st one. I never go any where without a decent knife whether hunting or not. Your story brought back good memories from 1960. By the way the day lease was $10.00 per day. We arrived about noon and he let us hunt the rest of the day for $5.00, Then $10.00 the next.

Last edited by Quick Shoot Again; 03/14/13 01:18 AM.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, But rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, Screaming "WHOO HOO What A Ride"

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Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Quick Shoot Again] #4120153 03/14/13 02:06 AM
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Welcome to the fraternity of deer hunting. Its never too late to get started and you will always be waiting for the next season to begin.


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Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Quick Shoot Again] #4120748 03/14/13 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted By: Quick Shoot Again
Yep, I guess a lot of us felt kinda strong after killing our first deer. Mine was a medium sized buck with four points on one side and the other broken off. Killed with a borrowed 30-40 Krag w/open sites. But he was mine even if I was almost a mile from the vehicle. So, I did the same and hoisted it upon my shoulder and took off, only to discover my back getting colder and colder, oops, back on the ground and a lot of dragging. Got him back to the car, 1949 ford 2 door coupe. Then after my brother got back to the car we discovered, no hunting knife, only a half sharp pocket knife. First deer ever dressed, bloody all the way to the arm pits. Finally found a stock tank and took an ice cold half bath. I have never forgot that 1st one. I never go any where without a decent knife whether hunting or not. Your story brought back good memories from 1960. By the way the day lease was $10.00 per day. We arrived about noon and he let us hunt the rest of the day for $5.00, Then $10.00 the next.


I wish it still only cost $10/day

Re: New Old Hunter [Re: DocBailey] #4120795 03/14/13 01:39 PM
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Welcome! Nice story.


Sometimes it's hard being me! But somebody has to do it.
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Quick Shoot Again] #4122149 03/15/13 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted By: Quick Shoot Again
Yep, I guess a lot of us felt kinda strong after killing our first deer. Mine was a medium sized buck with four points on one side and the other broken off. Killed with a borrowed 30-40 Krag w/open sites. But he was mine even if I was almost a mile from the vehicle. So, I did the same and hoisted it upon my shoulder and took off, only to discover my back getting colder and colder, oops, back on the ground and a lot of dragging. Got him back to the car, 1949 ford 2 door coupe. Then after my brother got back to the car we discovered, no hunting knife, only a half sharp pocket knife. First deer ever dressed, bloody all the way to the arm pits. Finally found a stock tank and took an ice cold half bath. I have never forgot that 1st one. I never go any where without a decent knife whether hunting or not. Your story brought back good memories from 1960. By the way the day lease was $10.00 per day. We arrived about noon and he let us hunt the rest of the day for $5.00, Then $10.00 the next.


Thanks for the warm welcome guys! QSA, you must have been in much better shape than me. A mile would have done me in! You are right about the first deer too. It was opening day, first ever hunt, super sweet tree stand and a beautiful morning. The big doe just sauntered up to the feeder and gave me a perfect broadside profile. Looking through the scope I thought I was looking at a screensaver. I put the crosshairs on the sweet spot and went to pull the trigger....only to see the crosshairs start bobbing and weaving like crazy. To my horror, despite my best efforts Imcoukd not steady the sights. That was my introduction to adrenaline. Just watched hopelessly as she strolled away. Fortunately, she went just east a bit to a water tank and then came back to the feeder. This time I made sure to just focus on bringing the sights on target and letting it fly to the mark. It was a clean kill, heart shot that held the round. Never forget it.
That 2nd deer, for several some odd reasons, was even more amazing. Maybe the fact that I was dropped off and left to 'figure it out' with my own hardware in hand. I definitely got more 'personal' with the retrevial.
I really want to learn how to field dress and cape the deer. Just caping saves about half the cost of processing. Eventually I would love to do my own butchering. But My shopping list is pretty long as is. I do at least have some decent hunting clothes and knives. cowboy


2nd Amendment: Use it or loose it.
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Oakysmoker] #4125000 03/16/13 05:34 PM
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Great story, oaky. Those guys deserve a round of applause for takin' an old fossil like you huntin'...J/K, I'm fixin' to turn 52 also. welcome

Last edited by Erathkid; 03/16/13 05:35 PM.

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Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Erathkid] #4126160 03/17/13 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted By: Erathkid
Great story, oaky. Those guys deserve a round of applause for takin' an old fossil like you huntin'...J/K, I'm fixin' to turn 52 also. welcome


You are an old fart!!! rofl


I support Cap and Trade - Cap our spending and Trade Obama

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Seadog] #4126849 03/17/13 07:20 PM
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I know, I know, but I can still run a 40yd dash in under 8 seconds. No need for Viagra either...Yet.


Life is too short, as is. Don't chance it.
Don't text and drive.
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Oakysmoker] #4127022 03/17/13 09:09 PM
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Great story!

Re: New Old Hunter [Re: sirjohnscott] #4127083 03/17/13 09:54 PM
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Y'all call each other old farts at 52 made me feel bad, don't know what that makes me at 72. Double old fart I guess.


Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, But rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, Screaming "WHOO HOO What A Ride"

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Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Erathkid] #4127885 03/18/13 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted By: Erathkid
I know, I know, but I can still run a 40yd dash in under 8 seconds. No need for Viagra either...Yet.


I know what you mean!!! I can do that myself and I'm 55 and exercise every day, eat right!!! You're only as old as you feel!!!


I support Cap and Trade - Cap our spending and Trade Obama

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the Government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them. - Thomas Jefferson
Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Seadog] #4134668 03/21/13 02:16 AM
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Good for you.

Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Quick Shoot Again] #4135989 03/21/13 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted By: Quick Shoot Again
Y'all call each other old farts at 52 made me feel bad, don't know what that makes me at 72. Double old fart I guess.


You sound a lot like my grandpa who, when he was 82, was cutting firewood for his 'old' neighbors that were in their 60's. He always said, 'You can wear out or rust out, and I never cared much for rust'. smile


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Re: New Old Hunter [Re: Oakysmoker] #4137397 03/22/13 03:37 AM
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Never to old to get the rush

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