I normally don't write about my hunting adventures too much, but I felt that this one is necessary. If hunting, descriptions about harvesting animals, or the sight of blood or expired animals grosses you out or is not your thing, than please do not read because I don't want you to hold it against me even thought it is my God given right to do it. Otherwise, please enjoy this read. This is one hunt that I will never forget!
Here is the story, TRUE STORY. With Uncle Sam moving my family and I to Florida this coming July, I knew this was going to be my last chance to deer hunt in Virginia since it was also the last day to deer hunt on Fort Eustis. Crazy thing I was even going to go out. It turned out to be a nice day, so around 1:30 I decided to make a last minute decision to head out since my wife Amanda wanted to go do some shopping for a few hours. I figured I would give it one last hoorah!
I arrived to the hunt shack on base and signed out a numbered archery stand. I drove over to the spot and got out of my truck to unload all of my gear like usual. When I was staring into the tree line, I didn't like something about it so I drove back to the hunt shack. I signed back in from that spot and picked a different one that I never hunted before, about a mile away. I got into the woods with around 2.5 hours left of legal shooting time. I normally take my wedding ring off at the truck and put it in a pocket on my pack. I do that because I don't like the metal to metal noise it makes on the frame of my climbing tree stand. So I pick out a tree, attach my pack to my stand, and climb up 20 feet and get settled in. I'm thirsty now so I decided to get the water bottle out of my pack...TING!!!! My damn ring fell out of the pocket and bounced off my platform and vanished into the oblivion of oak leaves and pine needles on the wilderness floor. Not only did I lose my damn ring, it made the loudest sound in the world after it bounced off my platform. I honestly said to myself, "Way to F&*# up your last hunt in Virginia."
I was watching squirrels making a nest when I saw what I thought was a doe slowly feeding towards an opening. It wasn't 45 minutes since I dropped my ring. Maybe the deer thought it was the dinner bell. The deer got into the opening and then I saw his rack. "Oh $%it, nice buck!" I ranged him at 40 yards but limbs covered his chest. He started to move away and then he finally turned into and opening and opened up his chest giving me a really strong quartering away shot. I ranged him at 47 yards so I adjusted my sight to 40 yards. The elevation where the deer was standing was lower than my tree, not to mention I was high as hell up an oak tree. I drew back and put the pin just to the left of his hind quarter knowing with that angle that the arrow would come out around the front shoulder. I felt steady and he had no idea that I was there. I slowly squeezed the trigger of my release and watched my red Lumenok (for what seemed like an eternity) arch it's way towards the deer and drop into the small pocket that I aimed for. The loud "crack", broken opposite shoulder, with my Lumenok hanging out of the deer's chest told me that the deer was toast. He ran 50 yards and I heard him crash, DONE!
There was plenty of light left in the woods since I shot him at 4:08pm. I got all my gear together, climbed down, and what do you know...I saw the edge of my ringing glimmering in the light that was left in the woods, laying about 5 feet away from the tree. Only a sliver of the ring was exposed in the bed of leaves. I slid on my ring and went to track the deer. I got to the spot and could see blood from about 10 feet away sprayed EVERYWHERE! Seriously, anybody could have found this deer, colorblind or not, it was simple.
He died 7 yards from an old railroad bed not far from a paved road. He turned out to be a nice 7 pointer with a 19" spread, my biggest Virginia buck. I basically drove right up to him, loaded it up, and just laughed at the whole thing...REALLY, I could not have drawn up a better way to end my deer hunting chapter in Virginia.
With all that being said, the woods of Virginia will always have a permanent spot in my memory bank. I will always love and cherish the oak ridges, swamps, and pine stands that made up my deer hunting experience during my 4 short hunting seasons in Virginia. I am grateful!
P.S - I did not exaggerate any of this nor did I make any of it up. Thanks for reading!