They say it takes a village to raise a child. Seems like it takes just about as much effort some days to keep me in the woods. I am so blessed to continue the lifestyle I have and to enjoy the best nature often offers.
Last season found me hospitalized with a nasty disease that threatened to take what little motion I still had. We battled through the sickness and regained much of my strength. What was still lacking was caused by facial paralysis that took much of my vision and most of my smile. I remember one day in late spring that I saw a deer running across the field. That was the first one I was actually able to focus on for close to six months! As summer progressed, my vision got a little bit clearer each week or so. I had no idea what fall was going to bring but as they usually do, things worked out. Last month I was able to actually see pheasants down my gun barrel so my optimism stayed intact!
With mid-September came the opening of Wisconsin archery season and it was hard to believe but not only could I see fairly well but there seemed to be deer everywhere! I anxiously checked my trail cameras and when opening-day finally arrived, I knew this season was going to be one to remember. My friend Glenn had planted turnips in my food plot and the deer and turkeys began to come. The hunting shack in the background was built by my son, Riley. It has become my main archery stand
My first picture of the buck I set my sights on. I'll include a close-up so you can get a better look
We even got a couple good videos of him one evening. That got my blood pumping!
https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=5 ... rrer=watch
https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_refe ... -OY1eENqfM
I spent just about every moment I could in the Shack, hoping things would come together. I lost track of how many different deer came close to me. My most exciting night was one I had 10 different deer within arrow range! I was having a ball but as the disabled hunt on October 7 drew closer, I started to fine-tune my gun rest. I was hoping for my chance with the crossbow but I knew with my rifle I could set up in a different shooting house across the food plot and cover a big area.
The view from the outhouse
That building looked just like a little outhouse when we built it and that's the name that stuck. The corner where the big buck like to cross would make for a fair shot from the Outhouse. What was a slamdunk shot in the past however, would not be so simple with my eyes the way they were.
The first couple days of the disabled hunt passed quietly. I watched turkeys and deer in the turnips but the only antlers were on a small spike. The third day of season somehow felt just a little bit different. I turned on my computer in the morning and Facebook reminded me with a memory picture. It said two years ago today… And continued with a picture of a big 10 pointer that I harvested with Minda and Dayna in the stand.
I debated about sharing that memory, thinking it would be neat to repeat history on the same day this year but I felt that was tempting fate. I do admit I tried to talk Dayna and Minda into coming out that night with me but it didn't work out. I found myself alone in the Outhouse watching a couple turkeys work their way back and forth across the turnips as the sun settled behind the burnished gold of the turning oak leaves.
Eventually a beautiful evening had to go to a close and as darkness approached I quietly sent a text message to Dayna that it was almost time for her to come out and get me. No sooner had I sent that message when, with just moments of shooting light remaining, I spotted two dark shapes slipping onto the far corner of the plot.
I quickly repositioned my rifle rest so I could look through my scope. With the magnification turned up to six, even my poor eyes could make out that familiar rack on one of them. Just as I prepared to shoot, my supposedly silenced cell phone rang ! I tapped a button with my chin to answer the phone, whispered, “BIG BUCK” into the phone, and tapped the button again to hang up. At the sound, both bucks jumped and looked toward me!
The moment my motorized rest brought the crosshairs behind the big one’s shoulder, I gave a gentle sip on my straw squeezing the trigger and sending a hundred grain Hornaday BTSP a hundred and twenty five yards across the turnips.
After the shot it didn't take long for Dayna to appear in the doorway to find out what happened. I told her the story over supper while we waited for my tracking crew to arrive. About an hour found us back in the woods with Glenn on the trail.
It wasn't long before I heard Dayna cheer from back in the dark woods that I had gotten him! Pastor Bill and his daughter Amanda appeared a few minutes later and they drug him back to the house.
The next day we took a few more pictures and the hunt was one for the books
Once again I have been blessed to continue to do something I love despite the disability that is always part of my life. I am so thankful for that opportunity and I am thankful to the wonderful people that make it possible each step of the way. My special thanks to my caregivers Dayna, Dion, Christy, Theresa, and Jessie for getting me to and from the stand, clearing shooting lanes, maintaining the equipment, and the other million steps that go into the process. I am also grateful to my friends John, Pastor Bill, and his daughter Amanda for their help taking care of the deer after the track. My special heartfelt gratitude goes to my buddy Glenn. Glenn planted that awesome food plot, tracked and dressed the buck, and so many other things to make this all possible. God bless you all. He sure has blessed me.
Love the pictures, Don and the story was a great read.
Glad you are still able to get out and enjoy your property.