Deer Fever Beats The Common Cold

Practice and patience helped the author tie a tag to his first-ever white-tailed deer.

The weather had been in the low 20s, but had warmed to 42 degrees. I was just getting over a really bad cold, but I finally felt good enough to get into a treestand without coughing every 2 seconds. My dad agreed and told me I needed to be in top shooting form and should take a few practice shots before we left to hunt. I took four shots, and they all hit the bull's eye. We got to the woods around 3 p.m., and I was really nervous and excited at the same time. At 3:10 p.m. my dad helped me get situated in my stand, wished me good luck and told me that above all else, to enjoy the woods. He then went to a different woodlot to hunt, but before he left he put out a scent wick at 14 yards.

An hour into the hunt, I saw a turkey walk by only 10 yards away. I had a tag and could've shot it if I wanted to, but I was too focused on deer hunting to worry about anything else. After the turkey left, I soon spotted three does standing in some corn rows. The biggest doe came toward me and stopped only 10 yards away, but she was in really heavy brush, so I didn't have a clear shot. Suddenly she moved into a clearing and I quickly drew my bow. I was so nervous my arms were shaking! I couldn't hold the bow steady enough to shoot, and after 15 seconds I had to let up because I couldn't hold the string back anymore.

Of course the big doe saw me and ran away. The second doe followed the big doe, but the third doe stopped and smelled the scent wick my dad had put out. I came to full draw again, determined to stay calm and make a good shot. I let out a quick grunt and she picked her head up, and I let an arrow go!

After 15 minutes I got down from my stand and went to get my dad. I told him about the does, but wasn't sure whether I'd made a good hit or not. It was getting dark so we decided to come back the next morning and see if we could find her. Luckily, our search the next day was short. We found the doe only 42 yards from my stand. I was so happy I started crying with joy, and my dad and I both thanked God for creating these great animals. Dad later told me the woods we were hunting in were the same ones he'd shot his first deer in many years before. I now know why Dad and I practice as much as we do. I also now know that not all trophies need to have antlers on their heads.

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