Deer #1
10/11/1996 8 Point Buck Lancaster, SC 7mm Magnum Remington Afternoon 80 Yards
The upper field at Arnold's land had often presented us with a poser.  We could tell from the tracks leading in and out of the field that it was in great favor of the local deer population.  The problem was that none of the trees that bordered the field were large enough to support a treestand.  We finally solved this problem by putting a climbing stand in a pine tree about 20 yards away from the edge of the field.  On the very day that we put this stand up, I decided to give it a try.

I remember that the day had started out warm, but that it was supposed to get cold that evening.  I carried my heaviest coat with me in anticipation of this.  As evening approached, a spike buck and a doe came out into the field to feed.  I watched them for a good half hour, having decided not to shoot the spike.  As the day grew cold, I reached back and put on my heavy coat.  Almost as soon as I finished putting it on, I saw the doe jerk her head up and look towards the woods where she had entered from.

I raised my rifle in anticipation, and was rewarded with the site of a huge buck walking into the field, nose down, headed straight for the doe.  I let him take a single step into the field before I fired.  I couldn't tell if I hit him or not, so I chambered another round and shot again.  He took three more steps, then collapsed in a heap at the edge of the field.  His legs were jerking wildly, so I jacked in my last round and fired a third time.  I really didn't want this deer to go anywhere.  And after the third shot, he didn't.  He lay still.

I barely remember coming down the tree.  I do remember that when I hit the ground I saw the the spike was still standing there, not quite sure where to go.  As I stepped toward the field, he ran off, but all I was aware of was the sight of that big deer lying dead on the ground.  I heard a shot from the power lines where Arnold was hunting, but I barely registered it.

When I reached the deer and counted his points, I couldn't believe that I had finally satisfied a life long dream and had taken a good buck.  I couldn't decide what to do.  I wanted to walk down and get the camera, but I figured that Arnold had heard my shots and would come driving up on the four wheeler at any moment.   I know that I started back toward the camp at least three times, each time changing my mind and returning to my deer.

When darkness started to fall and Arnold hadn't shown up, I decided to walk on down to the camp and wait for him.  When he finally drove up, I couldn't contain my smile.  "What did you get?" he asked.  "Eight points," I said, unable to hide my excitement.  Arnold's face lit up in a huge grin, and he shook my hand furiously.  I think he might have been happier than I was, if that was possible.

Arnold had killed a spike out on the power lines, so we loaded both deer up on the four wheeler, with me running along behind trying to keep my buck's head from bumping up against the back tire.  I had the deer mounted, and to this day I often catch myself staring up at that mount, thinking back to the evening when I took my best whitetail to date.