The whitetail deer hunt that I went on earlier in November with Bill & Susie Brewster from Marietta, OK, was a new adventure for me. When this opportunity was offered back in September to WOMA members I jumped on it as it was a screaming good deal on a guided hunt and that felt like the right choice for my first time out for a whitetail deer. (See Marsha’s post http://thewoma.com/2014/10/great-deer-hunt-time-to-fill-your-freezer/ )
The first afternoon of hunting my guide, Donnie, reminded me that the hunt was for a “management” 8 point buck and two additional does. After verifying that our rifles were sighted in, which we always do after transporting them by air or car, we headed off to our blind. “We” was myself, Donnie and my camera gal Marilyn Fitch. Over the next three hours the amount of deer we saw, both does and bucks, was unbelievable!
The rut had just started and it looked like everything was wandering out of the woods right in front of our blind! To say I was a little excited is an understatement as I continually checked in with my guide to whisper “what about that buck?” Since I’m not as good on counting points on the antlers as Donnie was I depended on him to give me a thumbs up or thumbs down. Most of the time the bucks that came in were 9 points or higher, so not a management 8 point, and several times the does were too young to take.
As evening approached an 8 point buck came out of the woods, about 150 yards from our blind. As soon as Donnie looked at him through the binoculars, with me looking at the same buck through my Vortex scope, we knew there was something wrong with him. While he had good antlers, the rest of him looked bad and that wasn’t typical of the nice bucks we had been seeing. After looking at this buck for several minutes it became obvious he had either been injured in a rut fight or some other internal damage had been done. He wasn’t going to make it much longer before the coyotes caught up with him, which is a horrific death if you’ve ever watched it in the wild.
As I sat there with my guide, knowing the camera was rolling, I thought about what my dad, my brother and my husband (who are all lifelong hunters) would all say to me if they were in the blind and it would be a chorus of “Do the Right Thing.” After a few moments I lined up the shot, made a humane kill with one hit that dropped this ill animal in his tracks. It wasn’t the buck I wanted to take but it was the one whereI did the right thing. I did go on to get a couple of big does and my husband Gary did take this beautiful (healthy) buck so our freezer is full for the winter.
I thank God once again for the blessing of a renewable resource, that I live in the United States of America where I’m allowed to own and use a rifle and have the opportunity to participate in harvesting organic meat.