THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
A Doe I’ l l Never Get Back
Did another animal take it? Did someone sneak onto my property and steal my kill? Where did this doe go? The fresh snow immediately shed light on the circumstances. Tracks and blood were visible. After shooting the deer through the throat, dragging it 225 yards through a creek, and watching her lose a lot of blood, she had somehow survived. I saw that the deer had gotten up on its own and walked off, leaving a trail of blood behind. I started tracking it immediately, knowing it couldn’t have gotten far. I found spots where it fell and got back up and felt optimistic about my odds of finding the doe, but the further away from the perch I got, the thinner its blood trail became. The increments where it repeatedly fell over from weakness became farther and farther apart until they stopped entirely. By the time I got to the edge of the open field and into the woods, the blood had stopped. I looked down, and there were too many tracks to decipher. That doe will forever be the one that got away.
began to fall. I had the neck in my sights, so I exhaled to calm myself and lightly pulled the trigger. The doe fell over immediately. I saw her lying there in the open field, and as I looked down the scope, I saw a confirmed kill. I came down from the tree to bring the deer back so I could skin it and hang it up. I saw the exit wound on the other end of the throat, so I grabbed the doe by the feet and dragged it back to my perch. I pulled it through a creek, a meadow, and the full 225 yards back to the perch when I heard someone calling my name. As I looked up, I saw my brother hollering at me. He decided to swing by for a visit and came down to tell me that my wife had dinner ready. I decided to let the doe lay there until we were done eating and quickly departed with my brother. About 40 minutes later, I started back out to where I’d left the deer. It was cooling off fast, daylight was running out, and the snow was falling steadily, so time was of the essence. With the sun starting to fall off the horizon, I found my way back to the tree where I left the doe, only to find that it was not there.
A few years back, I came home from work on a brisk fall evening and decided to head out for a quick hunt. As the temperature began to drop, I put my safety gear on, grabbed my .270 rifle, and went out to the open field behind my property. There were always deer there perusing the area, so the opportunity for a good doe or buck was promising. As I had done so many times before, I climbed up to my tree stand at the edge of the field and started scanning the vastness for signs of life. I was in my perch for about an hour or so when two does and a buck started across the field. There was a decision to make, and I had to make it quick. As I looked down the scope, I felt the humidity in the air start to freeze. I honed in on one of the does, and as I centered on the beautiful creature in my crosshairs, I made the decision to take it home that night. My strategy is always to aim for the neck. I love venison, so I want to keep as much of the meat as clean as possible. The doe was about 225 yards out, so the shot was no walk in the park by any means. Just as I was sizing up my shot, some light snow
– Emanuel Herschberger
Did You Know? A single cloud can weigh more than 1 million pounds.
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