by J. Grant
This story takes place around 1999 in East Texas / PineyWoods. The stand I was hunting that year started out the same as years before which feed the deer a month or so before to get the spot ready for rifle season. I had a connection with my honey hole as I would of called it. I shot my first buck in that spot and a couple more the years past. If anyone is reading this , you bound to know the feeling when you want everything to go right your first morning.
I was pumped, the corn was always ate up and had a few scrapes that I was watching. I be damned my first morning that year, I had a pack full of dogs running around. I guess hunting the same creature i was. They would leave , come back. Leave come back. The time was 9:30 which by that time I’ve had enough of the crap. Me and my pops loaded up and told him what happened. Him being old school said shoot the bastards! They will not ever leave the deer alone if you don’t. I said yea well some had collars on and you could tell they were taking care of by someone nearby . Also pointed out , I’d rather not shoot and by chance the dogs help my hunt by running a bedded buck my way . Went to the deer cabin and had breakfast and everyone told their stories of what they seen that morning . Headed back to the stand around 3:00 which was a normal time to get back at it. No soon as I get up the stand , wait for everything to settle down . The damn dogs show up. Same exact ones plus a poodle looking mut which I missed to see that morning. I took my dads advice and decided to shoot. I know some may not care for my decision but deer hunting is a way of life here and taken very serious the first day of rifle season. I was shooting a Weatherby Vanguard VGL 30-06. Which is also named Ol Painless. I let the pack run in a straight line in front of me and let it rip to the back of the line which blew whatever kinda dog it was bottom jaw off. The first in line looked behind him to the one I shot and he was second. Then another in between , maybe the middle. Others ran like little bitches they were. After my pops hearing the shots which he explained sounded like a warzone, he walked up and asked what was going on like he never even said to shoot em a couple hours earlier. After looking at the gruesome sight of the first dogs bottom jaw blew off and head barely on . We dragged the dead off and I just knew my hunting for the evening was over. Went to the truck in between our hunting spots and refilled my ammo and headed towards my stand again but rather south from it. I decided to move away from the killing zone. I followed a day old set of big Ol dew claws which have the instinct look of a big buck and followed them till I couldn’t see it anymore. Sat my butt down ready for a nap by that point, watched a cat squirrel running around for maybe a minute or two and I had something flash to my left and it was a crazy looking spike chasing a doe , no more than 15 steps away.
I pulled up my gun , which didnt know at the time was set on 9 power instead of 4 or 5 in very close quarter woods around me. Pulled up the gun found the spike in my scope somehow , which was a patch of hair and shot. Damn spike dropped and make all sorts or bleats and bellowing. I put the scope on the right power and seen he was laying away from me head pointed opposite direction. I noticed where the bullet hit and it hit the spike in it’s right ass cheek and penetrated out his right shoulder. Don’t ask me how or what was I thinking . It just happened that way. He was down without a fight ! All this happened within a period of 35 minutes and 95 yds from the stand I shot the dogs. I have better stories of bigger deer I’ve taken to share but this was a awkward,memorable hunt . My point sharing this story is don’t ever let yourself think your hunt is ruined cause Ya never know!