The regular firearm deer season is over in this area and it was a good year. The weather cooperated, we had several successes and a few misses, and everyone survived, just a little worse for wear.
Opening weekend I was not around, but our party did fairly well. As they were cutting up those deer on a warm, late Monday afternoon, I decided to go sit in my stand and enjoy the weather. It was a beautiful fall day. The geese were noisily leaving the lake and pheasants were flying all around me. I was enjoying what was probably the last nice afternoon of the fall.
After sitting there for over an hour, I noticed a couple heads emerging from the slough grass. They were about 120 feet away and I thought that was a bit far so I just watched them for awhile, hoping they would come closer. I positioned myself quietly on my pail and watched as they came out of the slough and nibbled on the grass.
Eventually they started to head away from me so I thought maybe I should try to shoot. When I had a broadside shot I raised my gun slowly, turned on the scope, turned off the safe, aimed carefully, shot and ...... promptly fell off my pail. By the time I got back up I had three more shots at the one deer still there but missed. Since I was on the floor after the first shot I didn't see where the other deer went. I waited awhile, walked through the grass to look but finding no blood, determined I had missed.
The shooting aroused the interest of the guys cutting deer and they quickly came to the door of the garage to see what was going on. My son-in-law saw me walking so he came to help look. I had to tell him the story and like a good son-in-law he managed to hide the smirk and laughter. Later, when I told my husband, he said he didn't think I would tell anyone but I thought it would add a little humor to the hunt, which it did.
The rest of the week was much like the first day for me. My friend Marcia joined me and together we managed to miss three more deer and didn't shoot when we should have. I have to admit, though, that all the misses were mine. However, we had a great time catching up as we waited in the stand.
Our party ended up with a couple more deer and thanks to the generosity of some friends who enjoy the hunt but not the meat, we have plenty to fill our freezers for winter. Once again we had a great time gathering for breakfast in the morning, breaking for sandwiches several times during the day and then reliving the experiences at night before once again eating.
We missed our son and his friends who were unable to hunt this year, but we kept him informed via phone calls. At least his expected twin daughters held off through the deer season so grandpa and grandma didn't have to make a sudden departure.
Now, as the season wraps up and the meat is taken care of, we can sit back, rest our weary muscles and remember the hunt. I know in the future I will always have a smile when I remember this hunt as the year I shot and feel off my pail. I am just happy that no one was in the stand to witness it. It would have been difficult to continue shooting with someone laughing at me.