Written by a thousand deer hunters….
Months of anticipation, planning & preparation. Getting up early, sitting outside all day in the cold wind (yesterday) or the almost rain snow showers (today). Seeing nothing so you move mid day to another spot for a while. When you decide to get a late lunch and dry off a little you find that a deer walked on your footprints in the hour since you made them (today).
You gear up and head back out but the wind has changed so you have to make a new plan for the evening stand. A fallen tree and a stump seat down wind of a thicket will have to do. Not a single deer seen today and the last hour of daylight isn’t to promising but you tell yourself more than once “you never know”.
You look left for the hundred and 23rd time and see the movement of a deer about 50 or 60 yards away, can’t get a good look at it as it’s moving kinda fast. Then it suddenly runs out of sight. Better look back and see if a buck is following it. There is a deer coming behind it, a brief glimpse of antlers and then he is out of sight. He is moving through thick trees and brush and you know he’s going to be out of sight any second. You make one of those loud bleat noises you see on hunting shows and unbelievably he stops but is almost impossible to see. You slowly stand up and raise your rifle over a nearby tree branch. Where is he ? Then suddenly the line of his back and then his back leg come into focus. Looking through the scope everything (mostly) comes into focus. Everything but the important part, the head and antlers. You know he isn’t going to stand there much longer and feel that sense of urgency starting to creep up on you. Then he turns his head and you can see a rack with at least 3 points on it. Lots of brush, trees and branches in the way. Finally, there appears to be an opening, a little opening, just behind the shoulder. Steady the crosshairs and press the trigger. He turns and runs out of sight before you can chamber another round.
All of that took about 13 seconds and now it is getting dark. A short walk and there are his tracks in the snow and then a spot of red then more blood. You follow the trail watching ahead for the deer. He jumped over a snow covered log just ahead and it looks like he dragged his legs as he went over and there is a lot of blood here. He changed direction and you see a dark spot in the snow ahead and through your rifle scope can see an ear sticking up.
All that planning and preparation and a month of bow hunting come to a close with 13 seconds of real excitement and then the work starts.