Saturday, November 19, 2011

Opening of deer 2011-- a family affair

Mo and I were up and in the stand before first light, sharing the double stand christened the Honeymoon Suite (you'll have to get the details on the name from Rich).  We weren't planning to use the "Suite" for anything but deer slaying, and deer slaying we did.

The hope was to get Mo her fist shot at a whitetail.  She was carrying her Savage 24C "Camper," loaded with Federal 20 ga. rifled slugs.  I was carrying the trusty Ithaca Deerslayer.  At around 8 am,  I caught faint rustling to my right and picked up movement.  As I am now a left handed shooter, the right side is my side, so these deer were coming up on the wrong side for Mo.  I watched the deer work their way to within 20 yards of our stand, a doe and two big fawns, all the while whispering to Mo in hushed tones about the dark arts of deerslaying from tree perches. She was uncomfortable, as was I,with the notion of shooting across me, so we waited and waited for a shot for her to materialize.Our scent was being blown in the direction of the quarry, and they finally winded us, exploding in a confusion of "tail-up" fleeing deer.  Mo later said it was pure chaos to her, that she couldn't really register what was happening.  Meanwhile, I registered that a few meals over the Weber were attempting to elude their fate.  I swung on the left deer, peering through the scope...fawn.  Far right deer...fawn.  Middle deer, big doe, running--- now broadside, running, lead it... a little forward... BANG.  Dead deer.  Mo said "Holy S@#t" or some such, beaming with exuberance and the thrill of all of that.  I felt a strange calm, a sense of surprise at my gladness to have shared that moment with my wife and best friend.

We both sat back.  I reloaded.  She noticed this.  "Will she get up?" she asked.  "Not likely," I said, "but a buck might have been trailing her-  we'll wait awhile.  We sat together.  I ranged the downed doe at 83 yards.  After a while the inevitable question emerged... "are those fawns going to make it?"  I thought about this.  I said "They will nose around here a day or two, looking for Momma, and they will be on their own.  She would have kicked them off in a matter of days or weeks anyway, as soon as she hit her estrus. The best plan is for you to hunt this area again tomorrow and have a crack at some young vittles."  She was quiet and thoughtful about this for a few moments.  I am sure as a mother, she pondered larger issues.  Then she said, "for me, this is about food.  A lioness doesn't spend a lot of time thinking about zebra orphans when its time to feed the family."  I let that sit in the November air, smiling to myself and availing myself of the new-found pleasures of hunting with a partner.

1 comment:

Dr. Dirt said...

And somehow I suspect there is more to this story! Nice.