First Deer, First Buck, New Friend

In the 1960’s there were few deer in our area.The local hunters had to travel to find deer. As a teenager, I went along on a few hunting trips and had no success.

I joined the Navy after high school. After the Navy I started hunting again. I hunted a different area each year for several years with no success. I finally concentrated on an area two hours from home.

I saw a herd of deer on a Saturday hunt and decided to return there. The next year I returned to that spot. We had three inches of snow overnight. As I was parking before sunrise an older hunter parked behind me and talked to me.

He mistook me for someone else. We talked as we walked up the mountain trail. This was his old home area and he now lived in my area.

We reached my spot and wished each other good luck. I started to go higher on the mountain when I crossed four sets of deer tracks in the snow. I saw deer beds near pine trees. I decided to watch this area.

I went about 60 yards uphill to a log next to a tree and sat down. There was some shooting in the area and about 8 o’clock three doe came trotting back to the bedding area.

Then I heard a hard running deer punching through the snow into the leaves. It ran down into a ravine on my right and up my side and stopped on the trail below me.

It was a 4 point buck. I had the Marlin 30-30 up and ready. I put the crosshairs on the point of the shoulder at the neck and fired.

He was on his back and kicking. I took another shot at the same spot. He stopped moving.

It was an easy drag 200 yards down the snow covered trail.I left a note on the other hunter’s windshield.

A week later he called me. He had gotten a 7 point after I left.

He had a camp in the area and invited me to visit. I ended up hunting with him and two of his friends for 12 years until he died.

My success rate steadily improved over the years. I consider that hunt the best one for many reasons.

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