By Holly Overman
Every season comes with many possibilities that we hope for. When our 2019 deer season got going, a couple good bucks were coming around on camera and making scrapes regularly.
During our two weeks of muzzleloader season, I was sitting in the box blind waiting on one of my target bucks to come out. While watching several does in front of me, I hear a shot fired in my neighbor’s direction. Right then I began to tear up fearing that he shot my main buck.
My fear became reality when my husband calls me with the news that he did shoot the nice 11 point that I was after. Emotions came over me, but what could I do when he spotted it before I got my chance? At least I still had another one to go after.
It was a beautiful, chilly November morning for our opener of gun season. I was once again tucked in the box blind in hopes of seeing a good buck. When the sun came up shining through the trees, it warmed up my soul and body. The warmth flowed through the woods as critters began to wake and stir around. It was just so peaceful and quiet.
After sitting there for about an hour, I finally spotted a deer coming out. When that head came up, I saw that beautiful rack and my heart leaped with joy. At first I thought maybe he was my big 8 point I had seen but I really did not care either way.
With my heart and adrenaline racing, I got ready for the shot. When he turned and gave me his side, I aimed and pulled the trigger. POW! He dropped right where he stood. For a moment I about flipped out because he tried getting up and he did drag himself off a few feet. So I gave him time to expire before getting down.
Once I calmed down enough, it was time to go check him out. When I came up to him, he wasn’t dead yet. I should’ve given him more time, but in my inexperience, I grabbed my Thompson Center .243 and gave him another shot. When I knew he was no longer suffering, that’s when I could check him out.
I was still shaking from that experience, yet so incredibly thankful for it. I couldn’t help but admire how truly beautiful he was.
He was such a healthy, stunning 8 point with a darker shade of antlers. His body was a lighter color with a nice white chest. He also had an interesting dark colored face and head as well. He was a stranger to me since he never appeared on the trail cams. However, that’s okay because it’s a rut surprise.
Walking back home I was overjoyed thinking about what happened. Once I got home, I shared where he was laying with my husband, so he could retrieve him while I loved on my baby and ate something. When he got back with my buck, it was time to process him.
I’ve processed a couple deer before, but with his help this go around, I was going to be doing the whole thing. Afterwards while cleaning the meat for packaging, I found the remains of my bullet.
Even though I make mistakes, I learn from them to get better. I’ll always be thrilled over this buck, whether he was my main target or not. It should be more about the experience and feeding the family anyways, than the inches or points!
There should be no shame in your kill, so long as it’s legal. Shoot what makes you happy because a “trophy” is in the eye of the beholder. The thrill of the hunt brings the adventure together. If I could do it all over again, I’d still pull the trigger on him. He was a beautiful animal that fed my family very well.