To say the deer hunting in 2013 has been slow would be an understatement. It seems that the rut was spotty at best and that the buck numbers were way down. When you combine that with targeting one specific buck the odds are definitely in the bucks favor. That being said, you can only imagine my state of mind by the beginning of gun season.

But the winds of change were blowing as snow and bitter cold temperatures were on their way. The opening evening of gun season I had positioned myself overlooking a standing bean field that also had turnips adjacent to it, the snow hadn’t hit yet but it was cold. I had one deer on my hit list….the same deer I had tried all bow season to get, “Flasher”, a 5 year old extremely wide 10 point. I let him go on multiple occasions the previous year, but this year his number was up, unfortunately up to this point he wasn’t reading the same script I was.

Right before dark a group of deer entered the field about 140 yards out and Flasher was one of them. This was my chance…he had finally made a mistake. We opened the window and started rolling video; I peaked up at the LCD screen and realized that it was just too dark. Although, there still was shooting time left you lose the light in the camera as you zoom out so I had to let him walk. What made it worse was the fact that I knew I would have to sit in the blind with him feeding out in front of me for a long time as I did not want him to alert him to our presence.

Fast forward and Sunday…. the snow came and it would have been a great night to be afield, but family comes first and tonight was about watching my sons Christmas program. Back to work on Monday and although I had a busy morning my mind was on the afternoon and sneaking out to take advantage of the snow and bitter cold temps that had come in with the snow. Conditions were perfect, but the wind was not, a west wind blows directly from where they come out, but I would use my Ozonics and make the most of it. This would be a solo outing as I could not round up a cameraman as it was a workday. I reached the blind shortly after 2pm and started my little heater, hooked up the Ozonics, got the cameras into position and settled in for the afternoon hunt.

Deer started moving early and by 4pm I had seen 28 deer, but something had spooked them back into the timber. I was watching some deer go behind my blind when I turned and noticed a few new deer had hit the field. I threw up my Nikons and there he was, Flasher out at 4:15 with the snow covered background showing him off. I couldn’t believe he was out this early, but he was directly East of the blind which was concerning me as I knew I would have to open the window to get a round fired. I made sure the Ozonics was pointed the right way and slowly opened the window and to my surprise not a single deer moved. He was feeding 85 yards out as I placed my TC Prohunter out the window and settled the crosshairs of my Nikon scope on him. Suddenly the deer from behind the blind came running back into the field and Flasher jerked up his head. I had to make a judgment call whether this activity was going to clear the field, not wanting to take the chance I narrowed my focus and pulled the trigger…and down he went.

The feeling in that moment as a hunter and a land manager knowing I raised the deer and watched him grow up, via Reconyx photos and sightings, is as rewarding as it can get. I had finally got Flasher and it was the first deer I had taken from the farm in several years.

So what started out a slow year has ended with a bang and it was all worth the wait.