In our five minute world of today, not very many folks know what dedication is. In this high speed life we live in, performance is measured in how fast we can get something done. In certain things, I would agree but hunting is not one of them. I have had the occasional hunt that lasted only a few minutes but it was a matter of timing. Even the short term successes are usually in areas that I know very well. Over the last ten years I have been fortunate enough to have been able to have some pretty decent success with my bow, but even that has not been without dedication.
My first buck of 2013 came with a price, as most all harvests do. My morning started well before daylight. When I pulled into my hunting area it began to sprinkle, by the time I was ready to start my hike of better than a mile the rain had turned into a down pour. I was expecting rain that day so I did have a tree umbrella with me but they don’t work until you get in the tree. By the time I got to my stand and settled in I was already wet. I was in the stand for about five hours of very consistent rain and plummeting temperatures. But with the cold front moving in I knew that the possibility of a good buck being on his feet during shooting hours was favorable. I didn’t see any deer until about 9:00a.m., it was a small buck. Around 11:00a.m. the rain stopped and deer activity started. I was able to see about eight to ten deer that morning within sight of my stand. At 1:00p.m. I climbed down to get a break from the stand. I walked around in a small area at the base of my tree, just to get the blood flowing. By 1:12p.m. I was back in the stand eating the lunch I had prepared for the long sit. My venison biscuit reminded me of one of the reasons why I go to the extremes that I do.
As the day grew colder the activity increased. I watched several little bucks throughout the day, back and forth looking for willing does. Two small bucks in particular always seem to end up within sight of my stand. They would spar back and forth until one would get mad then it became a fight, then the other would run off with the dominant buck for that round chasing the other. Just before it was almost too dark to shoot I heard the rattle of the fence. It sounded like a deer crossing over it. I had heard that sound many times that day and I figured it was one of the smaller deer strolling through again. As the animal got closer I could see the glow of the wide rack as it entered my range of shooting. I have a weakness for wide spread bucks, I don’t care if they don’t have a tine one; I’m shooting them anyway. The deer walked in broadside at 18 yards and I let the arrow fly without hesitation. I heard the projectile smack the deer but I was unsure of the hit. When in doubt back out. It was a long night but I was able to recover my deer the next day. He is nice wide 7 pointer.
After sitting in the stand for a little over 14 hours and enduring weather conditions that most hunters would stay on the couch for, and countless hours scouting. I was rewarded for my efforts.
Thomas Jefferson once quoted, I’m a great believer in luck, and the harder I work the more I have of it.
– Tony Barner, LBSPY #50. (Feb 10-March 10, 2014).