Mary does it again...8 pt down! (long read)
I never like hunting in the morning. I have to wake up early, which I don’t like to do. I have to ride to my hunting blind in the cold wind on our Teryx. Then, I have to sit in the blind in the dark and freeze! I do love seeing the West Texas sky. It is filled with stars that seem so close you can touch them. You just can’t get that view in the city. So, when I do get up to hunt in the mornings, I enjoy the view and listening to the world waking up with me.
Saturday morning, October 24th, 2009, I was woken up by my fellow hunting buddies. They know that I don’t like to get up, so they give me a hard time each morning. There was lots of noise and singing of jingles to be sure that I got up. My husband made the comment to the guys that I was like an old car. I just had to spit and sputter a bit and get warmed up, then I’d be running fine. He won’t live that down for a while! After griping about having to get up, we got de-scented and dressed. We grabbed our gear and headed to the blind. My husband was going to hunt a different blind that morning, so he drove me to my blind first and dropped me off, making sure that I was safely settled in before taking off.
I sat there in the pitch black darkness of the West Texas morning. The temperature was in the mid 40’s, but it felt much colder to me. I was regretting having gotten up and thought about laying down on the floor of the blind and going back to sleep. I thought about texting my children and bugging them, but I didn’t have cell phone service in this blind. I was cold, tired, and bored! I sat in the chair and stewed. I was developing a terrible attitude towards my hunting buddies for waking me up this morning. But, as it started to get light outside my blind, my spirits began to lift because I love this part of the day.
This morning was a bit different though because the birds weren’t singing and I had no activity at my stand. After a while, I was thinking that I should have stuck with the idea of taking a nap earlier. Just at the peak of my negativity, I saw a doe coming out of the mesquite from my left.
My negativity was immediately gone. I watched this doe limping into view. There was apparently an injury to her front foot. I decided to try and shoot this doe. I was going to let her come in and relax a little before I tried to draw my bow.
As I was watching her, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned and saw a magestic buck cautiously coming in to the feeder. I froze! I have seen bucks come in before, but this was different. This buck came in so proud and so beautiful. I was in awe! I stayed as still as I could, but my knee began to bounce from my nerves. I could feel my heart beating through my chest! I just KNEW that those deer could hear my heartbeat and breath. I thought I was going to have a heart attack right there in the blind!
I sat there quietly, watching this buck and doe in front of me. I was mesmerized. After watching them for a little while, I decided that I would try and take this buck as my trophy. I went to draw my bow and I couldn’t pull it back. That has never happened to me before! Now I am sitting in my stand, with my bow in hand, and this buck and doe are staring at me! I kept my bow on my knee and didn’t move. The two deer finally calmed back down and went back to eating. After watching them for what seemed like an eternity, I decided to try again. But, I again cannot get my bow drawn. I am very concerned at this point. I evidently made more noise this time and both of the deer are intently staring at me. At this point I realized that I am about to watch both of these deer run off. I said a prayer and tried to draw my bow one last time. The third time was the charm and I finally got the Hoyt Kobalt drawn back.
I looked at this buck standing perfectly broadside just twenty yards in front of me. I settled my anchor point and put my first pin just behind his shoulder, where I had practiced thousands of times over the off-season. It felt like I was at full draw forever. I finally released Beman arrow tipped with a Rage 40KE warhead right into his pump station. The arrow hit perfectly! Both of the deer ran off, but I watched where he went until I lost sight of him.
I was told by my husband to stay in the blind for atleast thirty minutes following a shot. So, after five minutes I went to the feeder to see what kind of blood trail I had. There was NOTHING there! I went back to the blind and sat for thirty minutes. I began second guessing my shot and the shot placement. I tried to replay the shot in my head and I KNEW that the arrow had hit it’s mark.
I decided that I couldn’t wait any longer to go get my deer. I started walking the trail that I saw him run down. I was looking for blood and wasn’t finding anything. I was trying to stay on the trail so that I didn’t get lost in the jungle (that’s what we call this blind because it is so thick). I was getting very discouraged about the lack of a blood trail. I kept walking on this trail and finally found GOOD blood. My spirits immediately began to lift. But, they were short lived because I soon lost the trail again.
I decided to get back to the blind before my husband arrived and had to go looking for my deer and me! Tad showed up to pick me up around nine and asked, “See anything?” I asked him if he saw anything. He said no. Then, as my voice got higher and I talked faster, and my hands were flaying in the air, I told my husband my story.
I took him to where I had tracked my deer and we began looking. After about twenty minutes of tracking, we decided it was time to go back to camp and get the guys to help us find him. These are the same guys that made sure that I got up this morning!
When we walked back into camp, we got the usual, “did you see anything?” So I told the guys my story. We all decided to sit and eat breakfast, then go out and find my deer. That was the longest breakfast that I ever had to sit through! They finally finished eating and we all rode back over to my blind.
I told them all to follow me and we began walking the trail to where Tad and I lost the blood trail. We showed the guys where the trail ended and told them that we thought the deer had made a right turn and headed for a small draw. Paul walked down into the draw and immediately found blood. Tad then found a big pool of blood on our side of the draw, indicating the deer went that way. Paul started up the other side of the draw and said, “Here’s more blood…more blood…well here he is right here!”
I RAN through the cactus, into the draw, and up the other side. Tad, Keith, and Paul were already there. Sure enough, my buck had expired right there on top of the draw. He was HUGE! He was a perfectly symmetrical eight point. We aged him at five and a half years old. This was a perfect buck to harvest for our management program. He was a big, mature, slick eight point. He was a perfect trophy for me and a beautiful deer. I named this deer Reveille because he is the reason that I woke up this morning!
I hugged all of the guys and there were high-fives all the way around. We brought the Teryx in, picked him up, and went back to camp to take pictures and clean him. I realized that this was the biggest deer that I have ever killed. My husband joked that maybe we would just do a European mount on this deer! I told him that we were doing a shoulder mount and that was the end of the discussion. He was teasing of course. He did inform me later that this deer may just make Pope and Young once the drying period is done. If he does, that will be great. But, either way, Reveille is my trophy!