By HUNTER REDFIELD – Student Contributor
With Cranberry High School’s senior trip coming to a close at 10 p.m. Thursday night, I went to school Friday and drug myself through the day. I was completely exhausted and wanted to go home and take a nap.
However, I only had three more potential archery hunts and there was absolutely no way I wanted to rifle hunt.
So, as soon as I got home, I began getting ready and eventually I found myself walking into the woods. Just as I was getting to the tree I was going to climb, I jumped two nice bucks and sent them bolting through the bottom.
After climbing up and making sure I was comfortable shooting everywhere, I waited and waited. For a long time I started to tell myself I wasn’t going to see deer since they were moving later than usual in this spot.
At about 4:15 p.m., I saw the first doe, then another, as well as a small buck coming up over the ridge. This process ensued until about a dozen deer passed me and darkness started to fall.
Frozen to the core from the winds, I just wanted to climb down and head home, but about another dozen deer all in one herd entered the opposite side of the field behind me.
Then I heard crunching in the wet leaves from snow that melted by sunlight through the day and noticed three doe walking straight towards me. They kept trying to bust me, thinking they might see something in the tree as they walked eight yards past me, and finally got behind my tree.
In my head, I wondered why a 140 inch class buck couldn’t do the same thing, but my thought process was interrupted when another doe came running from below me.
Then I heard it, a short grunt that sounded like a young buck was coming where the three doe had just passed. I began to slowly turn my head as it grunted a couple more times, and I reached for the bow when I finally saw how big it looked.
I turned to the next gap with the bow, and he stepped into it and turned towards me, and, for some reason, stopped and my finger thought faster than my mind as the arrow launched.
He took off a million miles an hour, running right underneath my stand and about a hundred yards into the bottom before stopping. Then he began running again and what I thought was him crashing could be heard.
I climbed down to see if there was blood, but I couldn’t make any out in the dwindling light and my phone was dead, so I snuck out without making too much noise to the best of my ability.
I was left sitting at home waiting for a couple hours, wondering if the shot was good since I had never shot a deer straight underneath my stand and I was more than worried when it didn’t drop in the spot.
After waiting, we left the house and worked over the hill following just sprayed blood until he ran into a log, which I thought I had heard him hit earlier. That is when the floodgates seemed to open and a solid line of blood was easily followed through the woods.
My dad raised his light and said “There he is!” Fist bumps and high fives went around when everyone could see the antlers.
So we got down to it, took pictures, and I filled out my tag. Then we drug him out and finally were able to catch a four wheeler ride to get him to the truck.
We made it home, and several people came over to see my deer and congratulate me before we skinned it. Finally, at almost midnight, I got that sleep that I wanted since 6 a.m. that morning.