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The next morning, the wind was rushing out of the southwest. The field we were hunting was slightly hilly so Deputy elected to set up once again in the hollow we had occupied the afternoon before. We would be out of the worst of the wind and he hoped the deer would travel that hollow rather than expose themselves on the high ground. Because the wind might change their pattern, we both kept our eyes riveted to the windows as the sun rose. When no whitetails appeared, Deputy shrugged, said, "Wake me if you see anything," and soon was enjoying a nap.

Though I was tired, I could not close my eyes. I sometimes think I've become like my bird. As the sunlight hits my retinas, I am awake, alert, and if possible, hunting.

I craned my neck, peering out each window in turn, scanning the treeline. No deer. The hours passed and I was entertained once again by a trio of fox squirrels whose acrobatics and agitated calls echoed despite the increasing winds. Did I just read an article that denied squirrels were active on windy days? I grinned and pictured my bird in pursuit of the bushytails. But that would have to wait. Today we hunted whitetails.

Deputy awoke and asked me how long it had been bright. Neither of us had brought a watch. We grinned in silent communion. Who needs to know the time when you're on vacation and hunting?

The blind warmed up as the sun climbed. We watched and waited. Once again, Deputy spotted movement in the treeline, this time farther to the right. A herd of does was coming our way, on a line to cross through our hollow! I grabbed the Thompson and set it on the shooting sticks, cranked the scope up to full power and pointed it out the east window. The deer trotting toward us would pass us diagonally northeast to southwest. I quickly realized I needed to shift to the north window. I began to move just as the lead doe stopped less than forty yards away staring at the blind. Very slowly, I pivoted the gun, and put my cheek against the stock.

Deputy had not been silent since he had spotted the herd. Peripherally, I was aware of his excited, encouraging exclamations. To my surprise, I simply didn't hear him. I was focused on that doe.

I had never shot from a kneeling position before. I had been forced to shift my aim ninety degrees without moving my legs and was awkward and unbalanced. At forty yards with the scope on 10, she should have been a bouncing blur, but the shooting sticks gave me a doe filling up the scope with the crosshairs rock solid on her barrel. I picked a hair behind her shoulder and squeezed the trigger.

I lost sight of her as the scoped bonked me on the nose, but it wouldn't of mattered. I was immediately enveloped in a bear hug as Deputy exclaimed "Great shot! That was perfect! You got her! That was so awesome!" His joy mirrored my own but I needed to breathe. Did I mention that he is 6'4" and nearly 300lbs.? Somehow he managed to reload the Thompson even as he continued to crack my ribs. Still, as fast as he is, the rest of the herd had made their merry way across the field before he was done. They were no doubt hastened by the commotion in the blind.

Finally, we peeked out the windows to see my doe lying in the field, a bit over a hundred yards away, head up. Deputy told me that he had seen the shot shatter her shoulder. Damn. He said I had two options. We could walk up on her and finish her off, or take the shot from the blind. I opted for the latter.

The doe's butt was facing us with the top of her head just peeking up over her back as Deputy set the muzzleloader on the shooting sticks. He fired and her head jerked in an obvious hit. For the picture I had to arrange her ears to disguise the four-inch gap in the top of her skull. What a shot!

We continued to celebrate as I dressed my doe. Then we loaded up and went to lunch. A check of the clock in the truck showed that the does had again arrived at the same time as the previous day. Does Deputy have these deer trained or something?

We returned to the same spot for the afternoon hunt to find the wind even more brisk. Still, in that Double Bull blind, nothing flapped. It was as rigid as if made of wood. We waited as the sun set. Luckily, the snow extended our daylight and Deputy spotted two more does about two hundred yards away. Once again, the Thompson barked, but the doe took off giving no signs of injury. We followed her leaping tracks until they disappeared, then packed up and headed back to the concrete jungle.

The trip home was filled with reminisces of the weekend's hunts and the truck cab rang with laughter. I have always envied hunters their jovial comraderie, and am happy to now be among their number.

Finally, I asked Deputy what I could have done differently--better, to improve my own hunting. He gave me a startled look and said "What do you mean? You did great! I could only give you an opportunity, but you had to make the shot." Then he paid me the ultimate compliment. "Hawker, you can hunt with me anytime."

Thank you Deputy and thank you michigan-sportsman.com

Author's note: Deputy is indeed correct that on the first hunt he downed the doe with his second shot, not the third. The author regrets the error.

P.S. Single ladies of the outdoor persuasion! Deputy is 33 years old, single, currently unattached, not hard to look at (OK, he's ruggedly handsome, but I'm not allowed to say that since I'm happily married), and would LOVE to take you out hunting, fishing, shooting, canoeing, etc. Have at him, girls!

4,651 Posts
Great story Hawker !
I love it when a plan comes together too.
Deputy, your phone should be ringing off the wall by now eh? :)
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