Deer Hunting Give Us Many Reasons to be Thankful
The author standing next to the blind where he shot a doe from this hunting season.
We have just come through Thanksgiving and hunting seasons where I live in Indiana. I am not a great hunter, even a good one, but I do like to hunt deer. I learned this from my dad growing up in the Alleghany Mountains of western Virginia. The adjacent county to us, Bath County, was known for its great wildlife. There were plenty of deer, but the season was for bucks only. I mostly hunted with a borrowed shotgun using buckshot. A nice buck might weigh 100 pounds field dressed and anything heavier was a nice deer.
I can still visualize the seven pointer my dad killed with his 300 Savage Model 99 hanging on the wall above my bed, mounted of course! Although I hunted deer and bears in Virginia and deer in Washington State, I never killed one until moving to Indiana. My first buck was a nice eight pointer that was chasing a doe through a corn field back of Sugar Grove Church, the church I pastored for 14 years. I was using a Remington Model 31 pump shotgun. I am THANKFUL for the history contained in this paragraph.
There have been some health issues since this past June that made it difficult for me to hunt this season. I am THANKFUL I have been able to hunt most of these past two weeks. I started out the first day in the early morning but quickly learned that mornings were out. I have been able to hunt for a couple hours before dark most days.
I am THANKFUL to J. who for the past several years has made sure the scope on my 870 Remington slug barrel is on target.
I am THANKFUL to B. and E. who have allowed me to hunt on their property for the past two or three years.
I am THANKFUL to J. & R. who allowed me to place a pop-up blind back of their house to look north into the beautiful woods. I parked on B. & E.’s property and walked the quarter mile trail to this blind.
I am THANKFUL to M. & J. who allowed me to enter their woods. I could park the car and walk 60 yards to my spot.
I am THANKFUL to S. who made arrangements for me to hunt with him about an hour to our south. Thanks, S. for making these preparations. I now see it would not have been wise to journey that far away from home.
I am THANKFUL to my bride of 61 years, Verna, who although questioned the sagacity of my going into the woods still allowed me. I assured her I would be responsible and wise. I tried to be.
I am THANKFUL that at 85 I can still realize one of the desires of my heart.
I am always amazed by the complexity and variety of plants, trees and wild animals. I am THANKFUL to our great God and Creator for His clear revelation of Himself through creation, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what He has made...”
I am THANKFUL that on Tuesday, the 19th, a magnificent buck walked by at 40 yards. Note I did not say monster although this deer had heavy thick, white polished antlers and with a little exaggeration might be considered a monster! He walked away from me and turned. I shot and hit him but apparently not mortally. I trailed him for 200-300 yards until it was getting dark. There was a small blood trail. The next morning our grandson and I went back and scoured the woods but there was no sign of blood or the deer. I would be less than honest if I did not say I was disappointed in how I handled the encounter. I am very honest in saying, “I am THANKFUL for the encounter.”
I am THANKFUL that Monday, November 25th, three does came in behind me about dark. I am THANKFUL that I waited for the right moment and dispatched one of them at 50 yards. It was a young adult, my guess weighing 90-100 pounds field dressed. I am THANKFUL that grandsons A. & A. were around to help take care of the deer. That was a first experience for them.
Have a great December and Christmas season!
Guest contributor Pastor Cary Perdue of Goshen, Indiana is a passionate lifelong deer hunter and NDA member.