How Long Does it Take to Find a Deer?

A few years ago I was driving to work at a job twenty-five miles from my house. It was the next to last day of deer season and I still had all four of my tags in my pocket with my hunting license. Two bucks and two does, the license gave me a claim on a year’s meat supply, yet I still had not taken a shot at a deer, sometimes I have a tendency to put things off until close to the deadline. I seem to perform best when under pressure. That morning during my four am drive I counted twenty deer grazing along the side of the highway. Today was the day to make some meat.

After work and the drive home I still had a few hours before dark, but the temperature had risen to seventy-five degrees and it was extremely windy. Some hunters do not think deer will move on a hot day, or a windy day. This day was both, but I knew the deer would be moving because of what I had seen that morning.

I grabbed my blaze orange, knife and lever action .30-30 and headed out to a tree stand I had set back about thirty yards in the woods overlooking a trail that paralleled a fence line separating the forest from a moved hay field. I climbed into my stand and started searching for my comfortable waiting position. It took about ten seconds for me to hear the sound of a branch snapping over the wind. I looked to my right and six deer were coming down the trail. Four does were leading the way followed by two bucks. When the lead doe reach the sixteen yard mark I fired and she collapsed while the other five deer scattered every direction. I levered in another shell, swung ahead and dropped my second doe. I jacked in another shell and swung on one of the bucks. Bark flew as I center punched a tree limb. Flick the wrist, blam the first buck went down, flick the wrist again, blam the second buck bowled over.

I lowered the hammer on my rifle and started filling out my deer tags. I dragged all four deer over to one spot field dressed them then walked back out to get a four wheeler. By the time I picked up the forth deer and draped it across the front of the wheeler the ground clearance had been reduced considerably. They were home and processed within a couple of hours. Every one of those deer dropped instantly when hit. The .30-30 is still the great American deer cartridge and a lever action rifle is still faster than running deer. Why did I shoot the does before I shot the bucks? Because, they were closer, and I believe a hunter should always take the easiest shot first. Good hunting.

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