Today was a historic day for me! At the age of 32, I turned from simply a deer ‘hunter’ to a deer ‘harvester’, after successfully taking down a doe around 6PM this evening.
I was by myself and had already seen a handful of deer through my scope, but never well-enough or long-enough to pull the trigger. Today was the final day of muzzleloader season, so it was my last chance. As I was working out the details of my “sob story” about not being able to shoot at any of the deer I had seen tonight, three more appeared out of nowhere. I thought they were barely within range and just as I was about to second-guess myself for the 8th time in a split-second, I fired my Knight inline muzzleloader and kept staring through the scope waiting for the smoke to clear (and for my heart to slow down, too). After the smoke cleared I saw only two white tails waving goodbye as they pranced up the steep bank, now more than 100 yards away.
After I was sure my chances of a heart attack were minimal, I re-slung my gun and headed towards where I hoped would be my prize. Sure enough, the young doe lay just where I shot her. The shot looked ugly and I was fearful about the possibility of a gut-shot, but was still very excited as I called Jim, whose property I was on and who had told me he would come back out and help walk me through the dressing process.
After the call I had to figure a way to drag the deer back to my truck! I was never more glad to have my paracord survival bracelet than I was today! I quickly untied it and used it to drag my deer the few hundred yards back to my truck. It worked perfectly!
I was ready to take a few pictures, but first needed to call my Grandpa Sheets. He is the one who gifted me the rifle this year and I knew he would be pleased at my success! He was, but immediately following the call my phone battery ceased to exist.
Jim taught me the in’s and out’s (bad pun intended) of deer-dressing and we were both pleasantly surprised at the placement of my shot and lack of gut-damage! I drove the deer to a local butcher and will pick up the finished product in a few days!
What a treat! To have shot my first deer with a single shot from my muzzleloader at 80+ yards is a story that I won’t soon be forgetting!