We had 10 hunting buddies up at Camp F-Troop and snow on the ground for the opening day of deer season. Things just don’t get much better than that.
We all rose at 4:00 a.m., our traditional wake-up time for the opener, poured coffee, and double-checked our gear. By 5:00 o’clock I was on the fire trail in the dark, starting the long hike and steep climb to the mountainside boulder I’ve hunted the past six years. By 6:15 I was resting atop the boulder, sipping coffee from my thermos, and anticipating a full day of hunting. Little did I know this would be the shortest deer hunting day of my life.
At 7:00 o’clock sharp, I loaded my Remington .270 and stood up to begin scanning the mountainside for deer. My very first glance took in movement against the snow, and one second later I realized two deer were moving toward me in the morning half-light. I scoped them, saw they were does, and lowered my rifle. I noticed both deer looking back, though, a sign of a following deer, and then watched them scamper forward, a sign of a trailing buck. Sure enough, a third and larger deer appeared. I caught a glimpse of antlers early on, and I kept trying to scope the buck as he moved east to west on the well-traveled trail below my rock. He paused in an opening, and I spotted three points on one side. I moved the crosshairs to the chest, pulled the trigger, and dropped the six-point mountain buck in the snow. I checked my watch – 7:02 a.m.
Later that morning, my nephew Dustin got an eight-point, his first buck ever, and nephews Tom and Steve took antlerless deer toward the end of the season. Mediocre results for Camp F-Troop, but we all enjoyed a great time in the snowy outdoors.
Good luck out there. And have a great week outdoors.
~ Don Feigert, 12-23-08