Updated on September 21, 2022
And just like that, I was on it. I would take small little steps, scanning and finding these microscopic little dots. It was like I was a bloodhound on a true crime case, tracking and getting closer to solving the case with every move, except I looked more like a giant Cheeto puff in my 600 layers of orange clothing.
After probably 10 feet of looking for tiny, tiny droplets and following them slowly but surely, I picked my head up and I saw it. An absolute huge pile of lung blood. I felt my entire body get filled with adrenaline and feel a rush of relief run through at the same time. My heart was beating straight inside my ears. Head back down I went, looking for the next spot.
Then my dad said “Hey, look up.” Whoomp, there it is, right off the side of the deer trail, piled up. We made a plan and cautiously walked up, side by side with a little spread, barrels up in case he decided to make a last run. My dad tried to throw a stick at it, missed, surprisingly it didn’t move. I walked up, poked it. It didn’t move. BIG BUCK DOWN.
Of course we celebrated, got pictures, got my big ole buck dressed and hung, had a couple beers, all that jazz. Which, don’t get me wrong, one of the best parts of deer camp is getting back as the BMOC and being able to tell your story 20 times to everyone. All the while, embellishing just a tad every time you re-tell it.
Though, nearly every hunter has had at least part of that experience. Whether it be you celebrated privately after packing out with a successful solo hunt with your favorite fast food on the way home, or listened to your uncle tell the story of his biggest buck from 35 years ago for the millionth time. The real topic of interest here is what made him so hard to track? With absolutely obliterated lungs, you would think there would be more than a couple drops.
Well the secret was revealed when it came time to dress my buck. I was correct in that I had a good shot. However, somehow a rib had cracked so perfectly, that when he hunched, it actually plugged the exit wound. So any drops of blood that we saw were the dribble from the entrance wound. Now that was a first for us there at deer camp.
Once the post mordem was wrapped, plenty of food was eaten, the humstrum was played until everyone’s ears were on fire, and we got a few hours of sleep, it was Sunday morning and time to clean up and make our separate ways for home. Our goodbyes were said, my buck went to his various destinations for processing and mounting, and I said a final goodbye to my dad and stepped on a plane back to ATX.
Then, a new countdown began. The countdown to when my shoulder mount would be done! It was projected by June, which was perfect since I’d be back in July to see it. And by golly it sure was and looks as handsome as ever.
Huge thanks as always to Don the taxidermist for his excellent work, the boys and gals at deer camp for making every visit one to remember, and my dad for being my right hand and being the guy who got me into the outdoors in the first place. Looking forward to next year!