Monday, December 12, 2011

Ron's Long Shot Deer

The last weekend of deer rifle season found Ron and I again in the deer woods.  I had tagged out with a buck the week before and although Ron had seen some good bucks, he hadn't yet pulled the trigger on one.  Leading up to this weekend we had some logistical problems and we knew the weather would be wet, but we were determined to overcome it with some planning.  Ron traveled to our hunting spot the day before me so he could set up a hunting blind in anticipation of the 90% chance of rain for Saturday, while I had a business meeting occupying me on Friday.  I met Ron at our staging area on Saturday morning a little after 6:00 AM and although it had rained a little that night, a quick check of the radar on my smart phone told me that another wave of rain was approaching fast and we had a brief "dry window" to travel to our blind.  I showed Ron the radar and we immediately agreed that the ATVs would be needed so we could successfully leave our hunting location after the rains hit.

We sprang into action and coaxed the four wheelers to life as they coughed and sputtered in the cold morning air.  We were under way fairly quickly, but we weren't making good time as we spun out and mudded down the dirt road.  We were about five minutes from our blind when the first big wet drop hit me in the face.  "Oh no, here it comes!"I muttered, but before I could finish the sentence, the heavens opened up and drenched us both.  I sped up and tried to out run the rain, but it was no use, we were gonna get wet.  Ron and I both had on rain gear, but I couldn't keep my hood over my head, I had left my rain gloves back at the house, and while I was driving and my rifle case kept slipping off the rack so I had my hands full.  Finally we reached the spot to park our ATVs and we trudged through the mud to the blind.  I have never been so happy to see a little pop up tent before!  We hurled ourselves inside the blind, zipped up the door, shivering, wet, and cold.  Ron looks over at me and says "we're having fun right?"  I agreed that we were having fun and that the small adversities just make it more memorable.  Really, which trips do you remember best?  The ones where everything is perfect including the weather or when all heck breaks loose and you still pull off a successful hunt?

Ron had done an excellent job (as usual) of setting up the blind.  He had cleared the grass, leveled the floor, and set up camp chairs inside so we would be comfortable.  He had also concealed it fairly well within a plum bush.  I normally don't like hunting from these blinds, but today I was all for it!  We could hardly hear each other talk because the noise from the rain pelting the blind and I didn't think we would see a thing until the rain passed, but sure enough a small buck came by about 7:30 AM.  He had a small four point antler on one side and a even smaller spike on the other side.  Unfortunately I have seen several of these lop sided bucks in the area.  Apparently there was a buck like this several years back that all of us had seen, but nobody wanted to shoot him.  Well, it looks like he has passed on his genes and in a weird sort of way it is a benefit to the deer since most people will pass them up.

About 30 minutes later another small buck ran past us, but didn't get much of a reaction from Ron or myself.  By 9:30 AM, the rain had let up a little and nature was calling me (if you know what I mean) so I asked Ron if he would mind if declared this a bathroom break.  We agreed, but first took a good look around the blind to ensure nothing was approaching.  Just then Ron spotted a good buck running into our area.  I grabbed my binoculars to assess him.  Although he wasn't huge, he was a good eight pointer with a tall rack.  We only had about 15 or 20 seconds to get a look at him and decide if he was big enough.  Ron couldn't see him from his position so we switched sides in the confined space that was available.  Once he settled in and acquired his target, I began to wonder if he was in range.  It looked like a long shot for me, but then Ron is comfortable with long shots as he competitively shoots up to 600 yards at times.  The buck continued to walk toward a ridge covered in brush. He stopped for a couple seconds at the edge of the brush.  A few more steps and he would be gone.  Ron's rifle rang out and the deer spun around and ducked into the foliage and out of sight.

We assess the shot and both agreed that it appeared he had hit the deer well, but since it was raining we should go after him sooner than normal so the blood trail wouldn't wash away (if we needed it).  We walked to where the deer had been standing and Ron ranged the distance with his range finder to be 199 yards!

I assumed that the deer would beyond the cover that he had ran into, but we didn't see him anywhere.  We both began to scan the ground for any evidence left by the deer.  The first sign we found were his fresh tracks and soon after that we found some blood.  We proceeded slowly watching the trail ahead just in case he jumped up.  We came to a several "forks in the road" along the trail where he could have gone left or right.  Each time we split up until one of us found additional sign.  After a slow methodical trailing job, we finally spotted him laying in a thicket with his head down.  We eased up, but our caution wasn't needed as the bullet had done its job.

Ron had pulled off a great long shot with only seconds to set up and make a decision not to mention he had done all the work in setting up the blind the day before.  We made quick work of field dressing the buck and hoisted him up on the ATV for the trip out.  It was a wild ride with the additional inch of rain that fell on the dirt trails and roads out that day, but these are the things that memories are made of.


  1. My clothes are still trying to dry out.

  2. Great post love how descriptive the writing is allows me to feel like I am sitting right next to the two of you in the blind. Congrats to the both of you on a successful harvests of bucks not many people are fortunate enough to be able to take such a great animal.