home email colophon copyright The Claypool Outdoor Journal

Nunley Farm, Dutch Ridge, WV
Dad, Virgil, me
Light wind, low 20s, low 50s, heavy frost

Dad with 2 deer It was extremely cold this morning with the wind so I decided to sneak into my stand at daybreak. Non-traditional yes, but it made sense at 5:45 am. This put me on my stand a few minutes before 7:00.

I got cold, really cold. Not my body, although I had a shiver or two, but my feet were ice. I heard two shots at 8:00 on the button and believed they were Dad's. We had a 9:00 am radio check and, sure enough, it was him. A 6-point taken within 50 yards of Dave's tree stand. I needed to move a bit and he agreed to hunt the upper field with me. We planned to meet at the truck by the second gate at 9:30 am.

Loren with 4 point buck I was packed and took off. I put a sneak on the edge of the field, keeping an eye on the logging road all the way. As I approached the corner of the field, I picked up a deer in the clearing of the new logging road. I couldn't see its head but picked up a second deer out of the corner of my eye to the right, coming up from around the scrape we found Sunday. I picked up antler - it appeared to be a spike - but its body was below the bank. I was standing in the field with nothing to hide behind. I raised my gun slowly and got the scope on him. He was feeding slowly up the road but still beneath the bank. He took a couple of steps and looked right at me. I held perfectly still and he put his head down to feed again. At this point my right leg began to shake as I fought to maintain my composure and wait him out. He stepped forward several more steps and exposed his shoulder and I fired. He stood up on his rear legs, hunched over, and jumped over the hill into the woods across the logging road. I heard him go a few yards and fall. Dad yelled, "Did you get him?" Yes I did, at 9:15 am.

I slowly walked to the bank across the new logging road and saw him laying about thirty yards into the woods. He took two deep breaths and no more. I approached him and found a beautiful 4-point with a fork horn rack at my feet. I felt elation, appreciation, pride, relief, excitement, and completion all at once. As Dave says, "That's what its all about!"

  2 deer seen (1 4-point taken)
  0 turkey seen
  1 squirrel seen

  The Claypools.com