Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Duck Pond Buck

If the setting of the photo above looks suspiciously like a duck pond, that would be because it is one. And if that good lookin' fella with the deer on the edge of the duck pond bears a stiking resemblance to yours truly, that would be an observation best not shared with him, lest he break out in hives or convulsions at the thought.

As dawn broke last Sunday morning, my son Hunter and I were lying prone on the edge of a flooded cornfield. We were hunting with our good friends Greg and Tucker Voges during the Alabama youth deer hunt.

With the temperature in the low 30's and 10 mph winds, we were treated to an almost constant show of ducks working overhead. Minutes earlier, as we walked through the pre-dawn darkness, the sound of thousands of ducks getting up out of the corn was truly awesome. It was already a special day.

The day before, Greg had pointed out a slick trail leaving out of the corner of the dike into the adjacent woods. I surmised that the deer would be leaving an unflooded cornfield that lay about a hundred yards away and crossing the dyke to get to their bedding area in the woods via that trail. Given the close proximity of the cornfield, using a climbing stand without spooking the deer seemed out of the question, so we decided to hunt on the ground.

In the flashlight-less darkness, we managed to find a section of dike where we could lie down along the dry side and peer over the top, foxhole style.

About thirty minutes after first light the spiker pictured above eased out of the cornfield and across the dike. Hunter's first shot through the ribs sent the buck scrambling for the nearby woods where he slowed to a walk, allowing a follow-up neck shot that dropped him in his tracks. Hunter reminded me of the mistake I had made a week earlier and said he wasn't going to repeat it by not taking a second shot. I'm glad that lesson stuck. Now if we could just work on the picking up the room lesson...

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