The 2006 Deer Rifle Season has been a great surprise so far. First, I trekked up to the cabin to hunt with some buddies. Now, remember, I almost didn’t even hunt this year, mainly because of Upward Football, but partly in a demonstration against the deer eradication policies of the Game Commission.
One of our hunting buddies has been sick, and I didn’t expect him to be able to hunt this year. But when he told me he and his 12 year old son where going to the cabin, I had to make the trip. I wanted to be there for his first Deer Camp. I’m glad I did that. He was the only one at camp that took a deer — a 10 inch spike. A protected deer to us old folks; but a very legal buck for his first. Awesome. Remember your first buck? We all do. And he will remember his forever. What a special day. He has now earned his deer camp nickname — Spike. I look forward to hunting with Spike and his dad next season already.
Fast forward to the first Saturday of Rifle Season. I took my good friend Pike to a special place I usually hunt hard. It is a perfect archery hunting honey hole. It’s a fairly good muzzleloader hunt too. Rifle can sometimes be scary there, because the farms around it sound like war zones. We hunted early; I put Pike in a spot I always see deer. It paid off — he saw a large 8 point, but didn’t get a shot. We left around 11, with intentions to come back that afternoon. Of course, good intentions are usually thwarted. Mine were no different. I ended up doing some chores around the house, and was not able to take Pike back out to the honey hole. When he called, I sent him out into the woods, alone. I figured he would at least get some woods time, even if he didn’t see any deer.
Boy, was I wrong. By 3:00 that afternoon, Pike took this 8 point 22 yards from one of my favorite tree stands. I think he felt bad. When he called, he kept apologizing. That buck wasn’t earmarked for me. It was his. He was the one in the woods. He put the crosshairs on it. I assured him there was nothing to be sorry about. Just make the check for guide service payable to “Fuzzie” and we’d be squared.
Of course I was kidding. There would be no payment. But what I did get was a life long hunting buddy. You can never have too many of those. Well done Pike!