Early Christmas morning, around 2:30, I was awakened with another bout of Vertigo. The extreme dizziness and nausea is acute. Christmas day found me knocked out because of the medication I take for Vertigo. Of course, the following day we witnessed freezing rain and about 7-8 inches of snow. I spent much time keeping the drive clear. This day is the first day of Pennsylvania’s primitive deer season. I didn’t make time to be woods
Grizzley Track in a size 10 and a half!
Today, the 27th of December, I headed for the woods early. The snow depths made for a little more difficulty with walking , but the quietness of this new snow made for excellent sneaking about the woodlands.
The Snow monster
About 40 minutes into the hunt I was walking along a field to check out a great place for bedded deer when I spotted my step father, Bob at the other end of the field. He had said he wasn’t hunting today so I was surprised to see him. Of course, this would change much of my hunting style. I would be sneaking around trying to push deer towards Bob.
I had seen two deer before meeting up with Bob again. Another attempt to move deer to Bob was planned. I eased along a ridge watching an open hollow for bedded or feeding deer. Eventually, the hunt would find me checking out an area of windblown trees and extreme brush. I immediately spotted some rich brown and the back of a deer. I couldn’t see its head. I had to shoot an antlerless deer since I had harvested a buck earlier. I eased backwards and slightly circled to get into a better position, all the while watching the deer’s actions.
I watched the deer’s nose ease out from behind a cherry tree and I noticed there was no rack of antlers. I raised the flintlock trying to get a good shot. I could see the body of the deer and the shot was taken. Instantly, I lost the view of the deer. I loaded up!
I began to unravel the tracks and soon found one deer running directly down a steep slope. Seventy or eighty yards later I saw signs of a hit. The deer crossed Cherry Run and became emerged into the bottomland jungle aways found along woodland watersheds!
I started working in S-style walks through this area following the easiest and quietest routes. Suddenly, I spotted a head and neck about eighty yards away. This was the only opening here and I lucked out to be viewing the deer. The deer appeared big. I thought the deer I had shot didn’t seem to be so big. I was puzzled believing that this deer may not be the same deer. I wouldn’t shoot! I went in reverse and crossed the stream again and elevated myself on the opposite side of the water. This worked for I soon could see an entire deer. Yes, this was a big deer.
I pretended not to see the deer and circled around again and not finding any tracks or blood I began to believe that this deer must, indeed, be the same deer. The deer stayed in place. I backtracked again preparing for the shot. My approach found me slightly lower and as I eased along the stream again I suddenly spotted the deer very much hidden in the underbrush and only about 12 yards away. The head was down and quickly up as was Old Jacob, my 50 caliber long rifle in the Andrew Verner school of gunbuilding.(Around 1780) The rifle “poofed”! I had been trying to keep the moisture away since the underbrush was covered with snow cover. Apparently, a small amount of moisture from snow had found its way to the vent hole. I cleaned it out and the gun shot well.
Old Jacob and the deer
I loaded up and began to stalk the deer. The deer turned 90 degrees to the right to circle me. I walked around too and spotted the deer laying in a brushy gulley. The shot was good. Now the car was over a mile away. I located Bob and we drove around until we could get a couple of hundred yards from the kill site. The drag was rough because of the brush, but the snow did aid in pulling it along. The first shot was slightly farther back that I had thought.
Notice where the antlers were.
I am thinking more jerky and canned venison! The deer was bigger than I had believed at the first shot. The deer was a buck and both antlers had already fallen off. I thought this might be a little early since we have had a relative mild winter.
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