Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An opportunity knocks

This 4-point came trotting through the woods at 10:44 a.m. Nov. 18 and gave me the shot I wanted during Michigan's 2010 firearms season.

MAHFS photo by Zac Arnold

By Mac Arnold
MAHFS Editor

The 2010 Michigan deer season had been so slow for me that when I saw antlers coming through the St. Clair County woods near my house Nov. 18 there wasn't an ounce of consideration whether I would shoot or not.

I waited for the buck to clear a tree and enter my shooting window, and squeezed the trigger.

The Mossberg slug gun was true. A freezer-packer is what I affectionately call it.

I ran up to him and saw he was actually a young, 4-pointer. Many deer hunters would scoff at such a prize.

I was grateful.

Thing is, I don't shoot that deer, I'm betting I end up with a goose egg this season.

Just haven't been seeing much in the way of antlered deer. Not like in past seasons.

That's what I'm hearing from a lot of folks. Also, the tallies are polar opposites. Either deer hunters are seeing little to none or are tagging 10-pointers.

So I've been fattening up on a new recipe of buck sausage.

And relishing a hunt where finally everything went right: the right gun at the right spot and the right shot.

It didn't go without drama.

After I came up on him, I waited for him to expire but then decided after a minute or two, time's up. (Short on patience these days.) I reached for one of his antlers so I could end it with a well-placed knife thrust.

Never underestimate your quarry. Remember that short saying.

He wasn't done yet and started doing the toro! head attack on my legs. It got hairy for a moment.

The buck backed me up after poking his antlers into my legs and I dropped the knife.

Now I was PO'd.

And reached over for the slug gun I had brought with me, which was implanted into my head from days in the infantry -- never leave your weapon. Here, it really mattered.

I sent a round right through his boiler room and left him smoking.

Definitely made things interesting.

Now the muzzleloader season is a mere two days and a wake-up away.

Hopefully the action will improve.

Good chance for that happening. I always get a good look or two at deer during ye olde smokepole season.

Knocked down my best 8-point with the help from my friend Walt Lucken on the last day of the muzzleloader season in 2007.

That, too, was not without drama. But that's a story for another day.