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  Fork Horn Buck

Hunting StoriesFork Horn Buck

During the second week of the South Dakota East River deer season My son and I found ourselves deer hunting while the inlaws were in town from Long Island. The Friday after Thanksgiving for some reason always is a cold, windy, snowy, rainy, and early. We were moving at 5:00 am and in the tree line well before first light. As windy and cold as it was I chose to find a “sheltered” spot on the ground.

Round about first light I could hear the first sounds of the moving deer. Three does moving through the wood. They appeared somewhat stressed, so I let them pass. Sure enough a little while latter I heard the tell tail sounds of hunters walking along the section line.

If they saw me they made no eye contact and just walked on by. I waited another 40 minutes the only movement came from squirrels and mice.

Now my son had taken tree stand and waited in the not soon forgotten cold of a South Dakota November wind. I heard the report of a small rifle and was sure it was him. Then another shot and another and finally a forth. I wasn’t so sure it was him but thinking the worst I moved from my spot toward him. Hoping I would find him with the deer down, but expecting to have to track a gut shot deer.

When I found him he had the deer out of the trees and on it’s back. Really a good sight. I unloaded and asked him if he was unloaded, he was. I noticed right away there was considerable amount of blood on the bottom of the chest. Not a particularly unexpected sight when hunting from a tree stand. As we both got ready to dress the deer I asked him to tell me how it came to be. It seems the deer came up on him from behind. Those pesky hunters had driven the does and this small Fork-Horn toward Martin’s stand. He then tells me the deer stopped not 15 feet from the stand and just stood there looking East whence he came. Martin told me about the beating of his heart and the shaking and the breathing. He waited until the deer moved and looked West the direction which we had been traveling. He knew now was the time, raising his rifle he placed the sights just to the left of the spine behind the left shoulder. Shot one. Nothing happened. Martin thinks he must have missed. So he shoots again at the same spot. Again nothing happens. No tail drop no jump just standing there. After the third shot he is beginning to second guess himself. So he holds back a good ways and fires the forth shot, at which time the fork horn drops. As excited as he was he knew to wait a while and let the deer die in peace.

The first three shots while not directly hitting the heart did virtually drain the deer of blood, both lungs and one major artery ventilated. The forth shot however broke his back and wrecked both side of the back strap in that area. He asked me why the deer didn’t just drop when hit the first time. I explained to him “deer and all wild game just don’t give up that easily”. The Fork Horn knew something had happened to him but didn’t know what.

I congratulated him on his follow through. While he was embarrassed about all the shooting I explained to him he did the right thing. You shot at the deer. Sure of your shooting ability you rightfully knew you hit him. Not wanting to track a wounded animal you continued to shot until the deer was down. I was proud of him and he knew it. $1.96 worth of bullets proved to me he was ready to hunt on his own. My only problem, I have to much fun hunting with him.


Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, September 07, 2005 (21:27:30) (2551 reads) [ Administration ]
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