December 25: Deanna Owen

As the end of the season was quickly approaching unable to get away Rodney and I finally got the opportunity to get away after we spent some family time with our 4 year old granddaughter Riley and my two boys for Christmas. We packed up Christmas night and made our game plan for the next two days. After watching the news realizing it was going to be extremely cold I decided I needed to make a trip to our local retail hunting store first thing in the morning of the 26th of December where I made sure I had a heater for the blind we would be hunting out of that evening.

Finally we are headed down south to the family farm. Extremely anxious to get there the normal two hour trip seemed like three. Once we got there we unloaded the target and my brand new “Pink” PSE Bow I had just recently had Doug Hutcheson set up for me. I took some time to shoot my bow to make sure my bow sight were still spot on. I started out at 20 yards and moved back to 30 then 40. Had to make a few minor adjustments but now I was comfortable that my bow was well adjusted for the evening hunt. The last thing I wanted to do was make a bad shot.

Now that everything is in order we headed up to our Blind which Rodney had set up over a month ago. Since Rodney had spent the last several months hunting with very little success. But he had been seeing bucks that frequently feed in the evening near the blind he had set up. We walked in with our heater, chairs, camera, backpack, and everything else we needed. “Well everything I needed for a comfortable evening”.

It is now 2pm in the afternoon and we are comfortable set up waiting for what we hope as our first encounter. Okay now it is 3 pm and nothing. We begin spending the time discussing what we are going to do tomorrow for my birthday. We enjoy coming down south to eat at a great Barbeque place about 45 minutes from Rodney Mom’s place. So we knew that was definitely on for the list for Lunch. While talking about our plans I am making sure I am keeping my eyes and ears open.

As I move my focus from Rodney in our discussion I look out into the field in front of the Blind I see what it looks like are horns barely coming over the top of the hill. I grab my bow in excitement and trying to keep my voice down I am trying to tell Rodney to quit talking and get the camera a big deer is coming. Of course it takes Rodney a few more minutes than myself to get ready. As I kept my eyes on the deer he looks really big then he gets closer and I am still ready with bow in hand and my heart beating like you can’t believe. Some of us know this feeling as buck fever…. Still keeping my eyes on him I realize he is young and not as big as I would like to shoot so I decide to pass on him in hopes that something bigger will come in later, since it is still early in the evening.

As he is walking out into the distance my heart begins to calm and the silence of the evening takes over. We begin to hear the squirrels playing which really sounds like a deer walking through the woods and the birds flying from tree to tree. It’s now around 4 pm and we are taken by surprise when a small button buck sneaks up from behind the blind about 20 yards from us. We watch him play and eat in the field in front of us. We are hoping he will attract a bigger buck to come into range for a good shot. It wasn’t long until we had another button buck joins him along with a slightly larger buck. At this point I decide I need to have my bow in hand and ready. Still keeping my eyes on all the deer in front of me I keep watching from the corner of the blind because they kept coming from behind us and we couldn’t see them until they were right upon us.

Finally from the corner of the open window we had open I could see the horns of a bigger deer. My heart began to pounding again, thought it was going to pound right on out of me. My legs began to shake not sure if I was cold or if it was just the thought that this was the big one. He finally came out into full view and he was a nice deer a little older than the first one I passed on and his horns were also a little bigger. I told Rodney I wanted to shoot this one. He said okay but wait until you get a good shot. The bucks are now chasing each other around of course making it difficult to get a good shot. Finally the settle in and start eating the grass in the field. It seemed like forever until he gave me that perfect shot he was broad side eating, my heart is still beating I am sure he can hear it from the blind but I wait until he puts his head down and I pull back my bow. I am at full draw and I can’t see my sight, my peep sight has turned. I whisper to Rodney to turn my peep so I can see my sight. He turns the peep and now I can see my sight. I line it up just above the shoulder where It should be he then raised his head is up and he looks like he is getting anxious. I ask Rodney “do you have him” and I thought I heard Rodney say yes so I pull the trigger on my release and watched the arrow hit exactly where I was aiming. I was so excited that I couldn’t even breathe or even stand. My legs felt numb and my eyes were watering I am pretty sure none of this was from the cold but just from the adrenaline that was running through me.

Rodney watched the deer run off into the woods with my arrow out of him. We heard him crash but because I was so excited I wasn’t sure which way he went once he left the field. We waited for a while but with the dark approaching we got out and started looking in the direction I thought he had went. We found my arrow at the start of an old logging road and followed it for a while finding drops of blood. But because we knew it would be dark soon and we had not brought the flashlights we had to go back down to the house and get a flash light.

Upon the return we began tracking from where we had left off at still only finding little drops the fear that maybe my shot was not as good as I thought I got nervous. Be kept tracking and finally a bigger pool of blood which meant it was a good shot. As I made the turn in the logging road I see another big pool of blood so we shine the light out a little further and my nervousness turns to excitement again. I can see the white belly of the deer I shot. I ran to the deer just so I could get a closer look at my accomplishment.

My fist day out in the field was a success and now for my birthday I can sleep in.