The Lucky Jacket

Thursday October 21 seemed to be the day for me to go out and hunt. We had a POSSE member, Bill Ball come through the area after a hunt he had been on and was on his way to come visit us here at ACM. The light bulb went on!!! Give Bill a call and see if he would be available for an afternoon. I called and he said "yes, what time?", so we were putting together a plan. Joe said that we should get a ground blind up now because it would be better to put it up the day you are going to hunt. They might get spooked, but that would also give you the opportunity to take your shot. So that was the plan. Joe was getting the blind and other things we would need, and Bill was on his way here. I had left to go home and get myself ready and was feeling a little excited because it just seemed to feel sort of good, but a little strange without Ralph, Vicki, and RJ around, but everything was falling in place.

We were all ready and started to load up cameras, TenPoint crossbow, equipment, Ameristep blind, Nikon camera, range finder, and bino's. It felt like we were all set to go. We loaded up the Bad Boy buggy and started down the road to get to the field where I was going to be hunting. I had been there the week before with Ralph in the Ameristep tree stand, but Ralph thought I would be better having more room in a ground blind, as we did have a nice buck come in, but I couldn't get a shot off. But the Buck Fever that hit me was something I had never experienced before. I had started to shake from my toes up to my hands. My heart sounded so loud I thought every critter in the woods and beyond could hear it. Ralph had looked at me and said "what do you think???" "How about that???" I looked over to him and said, "It sure isn't like hunting hogs", he looked back at me, laughed, and said, "It sure isn't". So being back at this spot made it quite important and I was hopeful that buck would come back, but more importantly, any deer that came in that I could take would be my trophy, for I have been trying to get a deer for so long I thought it would never come together for me.

I even wore the windproof fleece jacket Ralph gave me the week before for good luck. Getting to our spot, we began to unload. Joe and Bill began to set up the blind and get tree branches and twigs to place around the front of the blind. Because it was set into fallen trees and clumps of shrubs, it looked very good there. As they were setting up the blind Bill said to me, "see this handle?", and he moved it up, down, and sideways, then said, "look in the view frame and press record". I looked at Bill and said "you have got to be joking", but he wasn't. I think I filmed them setting up the blind—I sure do hope it turned out…Oh my, just think of what Ralph will say. OMG!!!!!! LOL

We got into the blind, all was comfortable, we were in place, and just waiting. It was a beautiful day. It was in the 30's in the morning but afternoon was in the 60's. The wind was in our favor and at one time even stopped, but then returned. It was after 6:00 pm when I noticed to my left in the field, there were 3 does and they were starring right into the blind and didn't bat an eye. I motioned to Bill and he tried to get them in the frame. After a while, they started to move to the right but still kept their eye on the blind. Finally the move was open to me and I had put my sight to the big doe that was out about 25 yards. As I was trying to calm myself down, that shaking and excitement started to come back. I kept telling myself, stay calm and pick that spot, right behind the front leg, wait for that broadside shot, stay calm, heart be quiet. As I was sighting in on her, I did calm down, very slowly moved my finger to release the safety, and then that very little click, made them move, but they didn't run away. I took a deep breath and moved just a little to put my sight back on her and Bill said, take the one coming in behind. The big doe was out of the camera frame, so I moved slowly to my left and there was this doe. It just kept starring at the blind and was a little skittish, but didn't run off. So I waited for her to move into my shooting lane and low and behold she did, I put my pin on her and just as I was releasing, she quartered away. I saw my arrow hit and so did Bill. OMG, I was shaking and shaking, I had tears in my eyes, as I watched her go into the path in the corner. I said to Bill she went down. The other deer stayed there and didn't run off.

As I was watching the corner, out came another deer, that one looked pretty mature also. Then the other doe turned and started to go down the trail that the buck came from the week before, and my doe got up and slowly tried to follow them. She fell to the ground on the trail. Bill saw the exit wound and said I made a good shot. So we decided to wait, leave and get a bite to eat, take a breather to rest a bit, and then go track her. I called Joe and told him and he was so excited and happy for me. I said "wait, we didn't find her yet" so, Joe offered to help track. We got together, went over what happened, and began to blood trail. We found the first sign and kept following and looking—oh my, across the field, down the path, jumping across a creek, through stickers that I didn't know were there, climbing over a barb wire fence, through more brush and low and behold there she was, on her side, expired. To find her made me cry, not because I was sorry that I shot her, but it is an adrenal feeling that I cannot explain and wouldn't even try. It's all too awesome when it all comes together.

Joe had taken a phone photo to text to Ralph & Vicki and as he sent my picture, he received one from Vicki, with Ralph's ND buck. How Awesome is that??? We had a Double Header!!! It's one of those memories that will stay with me always. I sure missed having Ralph, Vicki, and RJ here to feel all of that with me, but Bill and Joe filled in and did a great job. I would have them again any time. Thanks Bill, Joe, and Ralph for giving me this wonderful opportunity to finally get my deer. I can't forget the Archer's Choice Team that has also supported me. Now I'm ready to go back out again…then maybe that buck will come through! May God Bless and Keep you all safe. Good Hunting!

Hunter: Arlene Cianciarulo

Cameraman: Bill Ball