I need to be honest with myself. I still endure pain issues in the knee that I had surgery on. Whenever, I feel healing is doing well, I have setbacks with pains; discomfort; clicks, and pinches. I need to tell myself to limit the miles, and avoid the steeper hills. I am still hopeful less pain will be true, as more time drifts along.
Last Monday, October 19, I hunted for half a day. I had 22 deer sightings before returning home at around 1:00. I, also, saw a red fox, and a flock of turkeys. Lots of squirrels!
Prior to nine in the morning, I spotted a doe in the dogwood; crab apples and goldenrods. The deer was around forty yards or so. I believed it was closer. I leveled “Jeremiah” and missed! Jeremiah is my .62 caliber smoothbore French fowler. The original style dates back into the latter eighteenth century. I have killed deer with this firearm in the past, but I still mess up on occasion. The smoothbore doesn’t have a rear sight. One has to get the check down on the stock and aim true. Any slight deviance of this and the shot can, easily, fly high, or low. Also, smoothbores are not a long range gun of accuracy. the barrel, as the name states, doesn’t have rifling grooves in the barrel to stabilize the lead ball. Accuracy is easily faltered by this at yardages of over forty yards. Whatever happened…I missed!
October 21st found me out again. I saw fewer deer this morning. I spotted a deer in a spruce thicket. I lost sight quickly in the tangled tree tops and limbs. I still hunted along side, and spotted the doe in a deciduous woodlands that bordered the spruce growth. I shot and a deer moved down through the woods. I searched for over an hour with the same results as Monday’s hunt. A miss! I always with thinking wonder if I did all I could do searching.
I hunted with my step father, Bob Miller on Thursday. We saw some deer. I almost shot a doe, but decided to not shoot for Bob’s benefit. We were home early for breakfast with my mother.
Today was the day! early in the morning I heard a shot where Bob usually goes hunting. I had driven myself and parked along a road, and Bob was over on the other road. I didn’t know with certainty he would be hunting.
I found Bob in a field, and he quickly told me the story. We searched for over an hour, and found nothing. We spotted a deer walking through the dense crabapples; dogwoods and briars. We continued looking. Bob went one way as I headed towards the area where this deer had gone. I wanted to be sure this deer wasn’t hit by Bob’s shot. No blood!
However, I looked up to see the deer moving out ahead of me at about thirty-five to forty yards. I identified it as a doe. The doe stopped. I had a small opening to shoot through for the briars were thick. I held a tight aim and shot. I walked up and looked around. The doe was down at another forty yards. The shot had been true and humane.
I used “Old Jacob” on this hunt. This is a style of flintlock rifle made in the 1780 era by Andrew Verner of Pennsylvania. It is a 50 caliber flinter. I have harvested a lot of deer with this firearm. Notice this gun is a rifle. This means the barrel has “rifling” in the barrel to stabilize the lead ball for better accuracy.
As I type this, Bob has returned to the woods to set a spell watching for deer!