It is a 96 opening morning quota hunt. The sun has been up for about ten minutes now. I still cant see much though. The sun is starting to come over the surrounding hillsides. A foggy morning. I am beginning to be able to see the trees and other vegetation around me. I hear a stick snap to my left…..followed by a rustling of leaves. Its definitely got four legs….probably a squirrel. Not getting any brighter. The clouds and fog are blocking the sun out. The sticks are still snapping and getting louder to my left. My heart begins to pound…..its definitely a deer. I can see the outline now, its coming closer. Im not sure if its a buck or a doe… it doesnt matter, they all taste the same. The deer is closer now… much closer. About thirty yards to the left. I begin to raise my .30-.30 Marlin rifle. I havent shot a deer with it yet… its new. A birthday present. As the gun nears my shoulder, and the deer nears me I flip the safety off and pull the hammer back. The crosshairs are on the kill-zone, and my finger tight on the trigger… one more move will fire the gun. As I am squeezing the trigger for the shot I hear a grunt. Not from this deer, but from the top of the hill. Its too foggy to see very far, so I let the hammer down and wait. Another grunt. Closer.
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My leg begins to shake; my heart pounds. The deer comes out of the fog and heads toward the one already here. Again the gun comes to my shoulder and galls in the kill-zone of the deer. Hammer back… the gun fires! The deer falls to the ground. Its still alive, but not by much. I jack another shell into the chamber, but decide against firing into the deer a second time. I am waiting for my dad to come up the hill watching the last breaths of the buck. A first buck for me, I cant wait to see him up close.
Suddenly, my whole life spins and takes a sharp turn… the deer is up!!! I have a shell in the chamber, but it is too foggy and cannot follow through with the shot! My dad reaches the top, we look for blood finally finding a small pool where the buck first laid. We follow drops for several hours, final ending in a dead end. The deer is gone. Maybe next year.
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