Three hours later we arrived at 'The Shack', blissfully far from the city and it's annoyances. We settled in, got the fire roaring and got into our gear right away to go sit for a bit of an evening hunt with the light we had left. I might add that there was a good foot or more of snow on the ground and it was below minus 20 Celsius. Thus, by gearing up I mean putting on about ten layers until I became an orange Michelin Man. Thin finger gloves under big warm mittens were critical in order to actually be able to pull the trigger later on, should the chance arrive, and toe warmers were a must in order to stay out for any more than an hour. Quite different from archery season that's for sure. Either way, we didn't see anything that evening and returned back to the shack for some hot supper and bed.
Tom and I, being morning and evening hunters at this point, were unsure of what to do next. He needed to go to town(a local town, not 'the city') that afternoon. I had planned to go with him but at the last second decided I would sit in the driveway stand until he returned as he was only to be about an hour and a half. I was in my michelin man gear and got dropped off at the stand, climbed up, and Tom drove off. The plan was that I was to sit until he came back, or until I started to freeze, at which point I was to start walking back to the shack.
Tom's hour and a half sure seemed like it was getting long and, despite my excitement and adrenaline, I began to realize my feet were still frozen and that I better do something soon. My original hope had been that he would pull up and we would go find the deer together but he took too long and I went in without him. I knew where the second deer was, as I had seen it go down, so I placed a marker on a tree, hoping Tom would realize I had gone into the bush, and went in to find what I discovered was a tasty looking button buck. Knowing that guy was close and easy to find, I left him and went back to the driveway to check out the buck's plough marks. There was a ton of hair and I could easily follow his tracks through the deep snow, his being the ones with blood droplets scattered and sprayed around them. I was excitedly and quickly following his blood trail when I saw him, about fifty yards in off the driveway. He was down for the count, my first antlered buck. Just at that moment as I was about to walk right up to him, Tom's truck came barreling down the driveway right past the tree stand and right past my marker. I really did not want to have to walk all the way back to the shack to get him so I quickly exited the bush only stopping him with my blaze orange outfit. He reversed back to me and it was a good thing he had his little deer sled in the back of the truck! I was too excited to really say much, but he knew from the look on my face that I had shot something. I took him to the button buck which we easily dragged without the sled to the driveway, merely ten yards away. Tom thought I had only shot the one deer at first because when I went to take him back into the bush, he said, "Oh! You got two deer!" So we trudged our way down the easy blood trail I had already found and came to my buck. "Oh nice one!", he exclaimed as we approached the downed deer. I was so excited even though his rack was no trophy, it was a prize to me, my first antlers! It excites me just writing about it now. He had a nice sized body and we definitely needed the sled to drag him out even though the distance was short. Back to the shack we went, had a skinning party, some beers, no worries about waking up too early because we were all tagged out.
|No master photography here but there they are.|
It was a weekend of firsts for me. The first time I shot two deer in one day, the first time I watched one drop right in my scope, and my very first antlered buck. I love memories like this one and I hope to make many more in the years to come.