December 10: Mark Herrington

Finally that long awaited day had arrived. It was December 6 and I was boarding the plane headed to hunt the first gun season with David and Jeff on their farm. When I stepped off the plane in Iowa I was hit in the face with a frigid 6 degrees. It was sure to be on. We talked about how the deer would have to be on the food and the thoughts were, I would kill quickly.

Well, never predict the mind of a deer. What should have been a simple set up, wait a few hours and kill, turned in to a five day, freezing cold, hard hunt. The big boys simply did not move.

With David as my guide and cameraman, we hunted each day looking for the shooter named Dougie. I had seen him Friday eve before opening day Saturday in the beans right before dark while I was scouting. He was waving his massive rack at me as if to say, I know you don’t have a gun and cant shoot me today. I thought, maybe not, but I’ve got five days to get you buddy. You guessed it, five days went by and we never saw him again, although we enjoyed the pleasure of seeing several three-year-old bucks with nice racks but no shooter.

It was the fifth and final day, I was weary and feeling the pressure of running out of time. David and Jeff decided to change the game plan and I would go with Jeff to his honey hole. It was cold outside but on this last evening I was fired up. It had to happen and it had to be before the sun slipped in to darkness.

We got in the stand around 3pm. In a few minutes a few does and a nice buck came in, fed and left. Then, 4:30 with the clock ticking and time slipping over the horizon, the deer begin to pile in, all within 50 yards of our blind. My heart was racing because in a matter of minutes there were four nice bucks breathing smoke in the cold air only yards away. Jeff said, hold on we going to get you one bigger. I was thinking, all of these are bigger than I have ever killed what if a bigger one don’t show. Within minutes he stepped out, I called him the Chosen One, Jeff whispered, he’s a shooter and immediately I set up for the shot. Shortly the does got nervous and there was no more time, Jeff said take him, and I dropped the Chosen One like a bad habit. With the boom of the ole Muzzleloader he was down, time was up and the celebration was on. Thanks to the Lindsey’s for showing me such a great time, it was a hunt of a lifetime.