Saturday, December 10, 2011

Matts Buck

The hunting story from my buddy Matt on his 2011 buck...

The first day of deer season started for me on Monday November 26, just like any other.  I was filled with the anticipation of harvesting a buck. Most people have the dream of a monster buck. I just wanted to shoot a good buck. It has been several years since I was privileged to harvest a buck in Pa. The mesmerizing bony protrusions on the male deer species head has the same spell on me as it does for millions of others in this country. They just seem to have eluded me for so long.

     You see I have shot many buck in my early years of deer hunting. The past ten or so has been a different story. I have a form of muscular dystrophy which is making the hunt harder. I can't walk to deer any more. The deer need to come to me. This is not an easy thing when you have to hunt close to society's ease. There just is not a deer behind every tree 20 yards off the trail. I am fortunate enough to be able to hunt on property where I have adapted a stand for my abilities. This improves my chances of at least seeing deer.

        By seven o'clock on Monday Morning I saw seven doe below me in a flat. I was hunting in a management unit where doe are not legal the first week. Go figure!! Several other doe took the opportunity to thumb their noses at me from a distance that morning. I saw fifteen deer in total by lunch time. This really does wonders for one's emotional and psychological attitude.  

When I see deer I feel like I have accomplished something as a hunter and I am able to fool these animals into coming out of hiding. Especially when I am trying to get to my stand and make more noise than a whole military division would traveling to that stand.

      I had heard many shots throughout the morning and counting them subconsciously has always been something I have done. After every shot I think about the person who either got very lucky with their prize or very upset with a miss. Hey we all have been there. The emotional highs and lows of deer hunting are something every hunter experiences.

      I have never been the type of person who believes in a sixth sense but I can’t explain the urge that I had to turn completely around in my stand and watch behind me more frequently. After scanning around me in a three hundred and sixty degree area I turned back around and there he was. I remember saying to myself “it’s a buck”.
The buck’s rack had a tannish shade that seemed to float above the ground as the buck moved parallel to me. He was walking at a slow pace nose to the ground and stopping to look ahead. I could feel my pulse quicken and my body begin to shake. The buck weaved in and out of the thick cover of saplings and blow downs.
This beast which had eluded me for so long was finally easing along a trail to my left. He would stop every now and then looking ahead. Every time he stopped he was behind some sort of obstruction preventing a shot. I just kept wishing him into a small opening I could see with my scope. If I were able bodied I could just lift sight and shoot. I had my shooting stick propped and my body turned toward the opening sixty yards away.
The buck slowly kept walking toward the opening. The moment of truth arrived, the buck stopped in the opening. I could only see the front quarter of the buck. I positioned my crosshairs on the buck’s neck. The deer was down before the rifle blast faded. There was no movement from the deer but plenty from me. I do not even remember descending my stand but, I do remember falling at least several times making my way to the downed trophy.
When I arrived at my prize I was beaming with happiness. I had just accomplished something that every hunter strives for. I just seem to have a bit more difficulty. I had harvested a Pa whitetail buck. Running my hands over the eight point rack gave me a feeling only known to successful hunters who have completed their quest.
The buck definitely will not win any records but it is a trophy in my book. I do not know how many more deer seasons I have left, but as long as I have any movement in my body and family members to help me, I will hunt.   I sure hope I don’t go through another extended spell of no buck harvests.

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