A Great Saturday

Saturday was opening day of my deer season. I was a bit apprehensive when I was getting ready to head out as it was 45 degrees out and dead calm. As we drove in the previous weeks snow became more apparent as we climbed higher. I mentioned to my hunting partner I hoped it wouldn’t be crunchy.
We had our plan worked out so we parted company in the dark. I headed to my spot and waited for sunrise. The cloud cover muted the light as I glassed the valley. I sat for an hour before moving a few hundred yards down and posted again. The clouds started to roll in and began spitting snow. I decided to move across the valley and drop into the dark timber on the west facing slopes. I worked my way through the slashed timber glassing ever few minutes through the falling snow. I caught movement to my right as a deer turned and began sneak away. I had been had. The buck must have scented me because the wind was blowing from behind me plus being quiet in the crunchy snow was impossible. I started cutting at an angle towards a ridge hoping to get above him and catch him moving through the timber. I crested the ridge and saw movement to my left. It was the buck about 60 yards away. He was walking slowly only showing me glimpses of his rear end through gaps in the trees. I quickly sat and brought the rifle to bear. Watching him in the scope I did not have a clear shot. He stopped before going down the ridge out of sight and turned just slightly. This gave me a sliver of his chest. I let out a breath and squeezed the trigger. The buck hunched at the shot and disappeared over the ridge. I walked over to where I hit the buck. The shot was positive and the blood trail large. Surprisingly he went another forty yards and piled up in some oak scrub. My deer season was a success and now the work began. It was only 400 yards to the road but a steep climb then another 2 miles to the truck. 8 hours later he was in the truck and I was on my way home.
Saturday was probably my last deer hunt in one of my favorite places. We have been hunting deer in this area since 2012 and have taken 9 bucks. Six of which have come out of the same draw. Now in its infinite wisdom DOW/Parks has decided to open the road to dirt bikes and ATV’s. This means they will cut trails and trees which will probably chase the deer and grouse away. I guess I’ll have to start looking for a new place for next year..
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