RJ the Lucky Charm? Who knows. Much like last year I wanted to share this one from my perspective as I had the best seat in the house for this one. What a rush!
First off, I don’t hunt. I’ve shot a BB gun once in my life and nearly took my damn eye out, literally. I’ve shot Birdees bow three times, the third time I bonked my eye with the scope and basically have decided these things hate me so now the feeling is mutual. Fishing is a much easier game.
While I don’t hunt I do enjoy helping Birdee work on her stand, the prep work and the trail cam checks. It’s always fun to scroll through the pics together after swapping the SD card from the camera. This year we found to be slower than past years with activity out back. A Bear early on then some Does accompanied by this years fawns. Nothing exciting but like most years we don’t see a ton of Buck activity until November but we both get anxious and nervous always hoping for something to get the blood flowing.
Wednesday afternoon I did a trailcam check while Birdee was at work. Knowing the steady flow of Does in the area a Buck was bound to arrive anyday with the rut underway. There he was on the cam. Big bodied deer with a decent rack. Birdee was fired up.
Thursday was a write off due to her getting hung up at work on a project, but those extra hours came in handy as she left early Friday so she could get into the stand an hour earlier. The wind was perfect, it was cool but not freezing . I decided to join her for her sit.
We arrived at the stand, as Birdee began to climb up the ladder she spotted a Doe about 75 yards staring right at her. She slowly got setup keeping an eye on her. She told me to come up as well, slowly. I settled in and watched the Doe for a few minutes before she took off.
We sat for about an hour, not saying a word. Scanning, resting my eyes (yes I snooze) and listening. I felt that all too familiar nudge on my leg. “The Gap” is all Birdee said. I scan over the area we call “The Gap” and see nothing. I look off in the distance to another area I thought she may be referring to and lock eyes with a Doe at about 75 yards. She’s staring right at me (or so it feels). She drops her head and then raises it again, OK I’m not seeing things but at this point I’m curious as to how Birdee can see this Doe at all, there is lots of downed trees and brush between her and that area.
My puzzlement was quickly gone when I suddenly see movement out of my peripheral vision to my right on the other side of Birdee. I pay her back with the nudge. She looks at me like I’m nuts. Of course, she saw this deer coming all along and at that point I was pointing out the obvious. He’s walking along the tree line so all I can see is his legs, until he dropped his head to sniff the ground. Oh boy, I see horns.
Nose to the ground he turns and walks right out in front of us, 15 yards tops from the stand. I can hear something, it’s my heart. My god the adrenaline gets going and I’m not even the one hunting. As he’s walking he doesn’t stop just strolls by. At this point I’m thinking, “WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR BIRDEE?” I could flick a sunflower seed on him he’s so close.
He plays around for what felt like 20 minutes looking right at us, I swear we lock eyes at least 5 times. He hears something behind him (maybe the Doe I saw) and he backs off about 15 feet and turns to look back. Perfect quartering away shot for Birdee and she let it fly. I watch it hit the mark, he donkey kicks and bounds off. We hear a crash not 10 seconds later.
I turn to Birdee and say “YOU ARE A (#$#)$)$@&# BEAST!” “What the hell were you waiting for?” “Wasn’t the right angle for the shot so I waited”, she says. Her patience, determination and concentration is something I envy. A couple High 5’s and hugs later and we are walking back to the house to give it some time before recovery.
Recovery startled us somewhat as it was way closer than normal. A beautiful fatal shot had Birdees best Buck on the ground 35 yards from where she let him have it.
So ends the 2014 hunting season for Birdee, another successful season. Am I the lucky charm? Nope, but I am lucky to be able to share experiences like this with my partner in life, on the water and now the field.
Big thanks again this year to Shaun and the boys at Bennetts BaitnTackle for ensuring Birdee is always set up right and that undoubtedly leads to success!