Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2 For 1

Hello everyone,

I was thinking this morning of a hunt in Wisconsin that I would love to share with you.

This hunt was during a "T-zone" hunt, which is a doe only hunt that comes a couple of weeks before the normal gun season. I was hunting with a good friend of mine named Justin. Justin is the guy who taught me how to hunt... as my father was no hunter but a sub sailer. He gave me some basics and let me hunt his fathers land.

One day we set up in a garage on private property and used the garage as a blind. We set a couch in front of the sliding garage door and placed a corn pile about 100 yards into the woods. This practice is legal in the state of Wisconsin. The garage was more than 100 yards from any inhabited building and we had permission from the land owner to hunt there.

The agreement between Justin and I was that we would try to wait until there were at least two deer in at the bait before shooting and that we would shoot them both at the same time. But, as the deer came in they quickly walked out of Justin's sight. I noticed that both deer were going to line up side by side and asked Justin if he wanted me to save one of the deer for him? He said take the shots if I had them. I decided to do just that since I had in my possession two doe tags.

As the deer lined up side by side I raised my Remington 700 ADL 30.06 and found the deer in the 3x9 set at about 9 power... (As an aside, I had the scope dialed all the way up from the get go, but have since realized that setting the scope at around 4 power and dialing up as the opportunity arises is a much more efficient plan.)... and deliberately squeezed the shot off. The was aimed at the area about four inches up from the chest and just behind the shoulder (aka, heart shot). The deer disappeared from view and I struggled to find the second deer that I assumed needed a follow up shot.

As I looked around the area like an amateur using only my scope I came up empty handed. I finally lowered my scope and begin searching the nearby woods with my naked eye. I suspected that if the deer had run off, I would have missed the opportunity while searching the area with the scope that for the situation may have been dialed up to high, thereby decreasing my field of view.

Justin and I walked over to the bait pile only to realize that both deer had dropped in their tracks and we needed to get back to our snipers nest to ready for the next deer that may be coming in.

We had no sooner got back to our location when another deer and yet another came in. Justin sprung into action and quickly raised his Winchester model 70 in .308 and took a shot at one and then the other deer. The first puddled up with in 10 yards and the second was on the run. I raised my gun thinking, just for a second, that Justin (a seasoned hunter and an excellent shot, my teacher) would need me for the follow up shot. As quickly as I raised the gun, I lowered it. Justin waited for the deer to drop all the while keeping his scope on the fleeing deer. The deer puddled up within 50 yards with no follow up shot required.

We had both filled our tags and decided to go and clean the deer. As we gathered up our bounty we looked and 3-4 more deer began to cycle in. We were amazed at how many deer we saw that day in the midst of all the shooting and felt that we had done our part to manage this land as it was overrun with whitetail does. The meat was excellent and I have not been more tickled by any other hunting adventure with a friend in the woods.

I learned a lot that day about letting the inexperienced guy go before myself. Justin, being a life long hunter said that he got just as much out of watching me harvest a deer as when he did. I imagine that is true, but admittedly I have not had the opportunity of yet to return the favor. I believe that as my boys get older I will have many such opportunities and God willing, I will post on them then.

God Bless,


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