Another Memory For the Books
November 3, 2015
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Another Memory For the Books

Hopes and dreams for bringing this deer home commenced long before deer season began in East Texas. My lifelong friend, Nathan Bailey, was fortunate enough to catch this trophy buck on his trail camera. This buck made an appearance on a variety of trail cameras a total of 26 times before he ventured out in front of a hunter. It all started on the evening of December 27th. Nathan called to ask if I would like to go hunt with him on his family’s property the next day. The weather was predicted to be perfect for the deer to be moving and game trail pictures of this rare buck had been taken at several different stands on the property. The temperature was in the mid 30s and a drizzling rain was expected throughout the day. We arrived at the lease that morning and “gowned down” for the long day of sitting in the cold. Since this was the first time I had ever set foot on the property, Nathan walked me to the stand and then set off to wait on this deer of a lifetime at his stand. The cold weather definitely had the does moving, but the bucks were nowhere to be found during the morning. We both knew the weather was absolutely perfect for the big bucks to be moving, so instead of leaving for the day, we took a few minutes to thaw out and grabbed a bite to eat. Since this beast had been seen a few times at alternate locations, we discussed the idea of changing stand locations, but ultimately decided to play the odds and hold our current positions. Normally, we would take a longer break in the middle of the day, but since all of the elements seemed to be in place for a successful hunt, we returned to our stands shortly after noon. The weather was calling for the rain to break about four o’clock that afternoon so that would raise the odds of the deer moving. After we had returned to our stands, Nathan texted to let me know he had a couple does eating under his feeder. As I looked up from my phone, I realized there was a bobcat headed right to my stand. I lost sight of the cat as he got under the stand. I expected to see him emerge from another direction, but he never did. After a few minutes, I leaned forward far enough to determine he was still underneath me. As I sat back down, I realized the cat was not the only critter to join me. I spooked two does with my movements. I just knew I had ruined every chance I had of seeing a good deer. I settled back in for the remainder of the evening. Four o’clock rolled around, and for the first time I could recall, the weatherman was right! The rain came to a stop. A little hope was restored, and I might have a chance of seeing the big deer my friend had seen on his trail cameras. At 4:40, I saw movement in the woods at the end of the lane to the right front of the stand. I grabbed my binocular to check it out. A little doe walked out and started grazing. I immediately focused my attention to her area hoping to find a buck tailing her. I was so attentive to this little doe that I neglected to check my other lanes for deer. Eventually, I put my binocular down and scanned the shooting lanes again. I could hardly believe my eyes as they covered the narrow clearing. It was a big buck! I lifted my binocular and just could not believe it. I set it down, took a breath, and looked again. There was no doubt he was the deer we were after. The next few moments were a bit of a blur. I honestly cannot say for sure what I did with my binocular when I realized it was THE buck. I grabbed my rifle quicker than I ever had before. Initially, he was dead center in the shooting lane that was no more than five yards wide. I knew I had very little time to take my shot. Just as I brought the gun into position on my shoulder and prepared to take my shot, the deer began to trot out of my shooting lane. I had very little time before he would disappear into the pines. I took the shot. The buck kicked his back legs straight into the air. I knew he is hit but just hoped it was not a gut shot. Nathan immediately called me. Of course the shakes and excitement had set in at that point. I finally got my thoughts gathered enough to answer the phone. Nathan asked, “Was that him?” I could barely get a coherent word out of my mouth but managed something like, “Uhhh, ya.” Nathan quickly packed his things and made his way to my stand. Both of us were ecstatic about the deer. He might have even been more excited than me. He had put countless hours and had let several quality bucks walk saving his tag for this buck. We tried to wait to begin tracking the deer, but our excitement took over. We made our way to where the deer stood when I took the shot. There was a solid blood trail for about 10 yards. It looked like lung blood, too. We knew he could not be far. I stayed on the blood trail and Nathan walked ahead a few yards. Nathan saw him laying about 50 yards ahead of us. We quickly made our way through the brush towards the deer. The deer was crazy! Unlike anything I had ever dreamed of killing.  A deer my best friend had been hunting all season had walked out in front of me the first time I ever stepped foot on the land. It is truly a memory I will never forget in my lifetime and owe a great thanks to Nathan and his grandpa for allowing me to hunt.

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TTHA

TTHA has been Texans number one source for all hunting and outdoor related news since 1975.

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