The morning was the coldest morning yet this fall and everything was “crunchy” with a light coating of frost. I parked behind a big cedar along the field edge, donned the orange vest, shouldered my rifle and bag containing knives, binoculars and other necessities, pointed the flashlight toward the ground and set out for our raised blind about 200 yards away. Halfway there I walked up and over a grassy waterway where every blade of grass glistened in the flashlight beam like a thousand shimmering diamonds had been strewn about. Once in the blind, I settled into to one of the swivel chairs and awaited sunrise.
Our blind has three windows facing north, south and east, that slide open vertically. The north window faces a grassy draw that lies between open crop land and a woodlot to the right, and CRP & an overgrown pasture to the left. A drainage creek runs just in front of the blind, making the spot a natural travel way between beddings areas in the woodlot and the overgrown pasture. As the sun slowly crept above the horizon, I opened the north window and scanned the dark landscape in front of me for moving deer.
Once the morning light was bright enough to take a shot if deer were spotted, I stood up, slid open the east-facing window and sat back in the chair. To my left on the edge of the draw and the CRP, two does with nearly grown fawns suddenly appeared as if from nowhere, as only deer can do. They must have seen me open the window, so they were nervous, and trotted along the edge of the draw, turning at about 100 yards, to cross and continue across the wheat field to my right and out of sight. Just minutes later, again as if from nowhere, a nice buck appeared at the same spot. With obvious love on his mind, moving quickly, he followed the exact path of the does. I will not shoot at a moving deer, but they can usually be stopped for a couple seconds by making a grunting sound like that of another deer. I like to be positioned to put my scope on them and be prepared to shoot as soon as they stop, but this guy out-maneuvered me and was soon gone too.
The next few minutes were brutal for me, as only deer hunters will understand. I beat myself with every feeling available. Thoughts like “That could have been the last deer you’ll see this season.” Or, “Why didn’t you at least try something?” Around and around they swirled in my mind, ceasing only when deer suddenly appeared from the right, across the wheatfield where they had all fled. “Could it be, are they actually coming back?” I wondered. First were the does and fawns, then one buck, and then a second buck joined them. We have corn scatted at the edge of the draw that usually stops deer for at least a nibble, but these deer were having none of that, and thought they weren’t running, they were moving quickly with a purpose. Again, only deer hunters will understand the next few seconds as my brain practically short-circuited trying to process the scenario. “No time to pick the best of the two bucks, so which one to choose.” Where do I try to stop him?” “What if they won’t stop and I blow another opportunity?” “Too many deer, will I be able to see him if he runs a little way after I shoot?”
Just then one of the bucks stepped into the draw and stopped perfectly broadside to me at just over a hundred yards, offering the perfect shot, which put him on the ground where he stood, putting-to-rest all the above concerns, and saving me from another brutal mental beating. To this day, I have no clue how big the other buck was, but it doesn’t matter. I firmly believe in God’s guidance in everyday situations, including bringing those deer back before me so soon, and stopping that marvelous creature in front of me to harvest. God knew our freezer needed restocked and once again, He provided…Continue to Explore Kansas Outdoors.
Steve can be contacted by email at [email protected]