Monday was definitely one to remember. I missed being able to make it back to PA last year, so this made it even more special. Around 0745 I missed a small 6 pt which I would have been ecstatic to get in the vast woods of NW 2G, but it just wasn't going to happen. At that point I figured I missed my one and only chance. Got back in the climber stand, saw a few more, then at around 0930 everything went quiet. Not even any shooting close by to get my attention. Figured I would just enjoy the opportunity to at least be in the woods on opening day this year, and I had the whole week off. Well, around 1340, just as I was fighting dozing off, I took another look at the thick stuff on my left. My heart about stopped. I knew immediately this buck was special. He was just sneaking through, but looking ahead I knew I would have 1 or 2 decent chances at getting a shot and it was all going to happen in about a 30 second window. I got the 30-06 steady and picked the opening he was headed for. As he walked into it, I'll admit for the first time I had a brief episode of the shakes. Took a deep breath, told myself to ignore the headgear, steadied the crosshairs, then took the shot. He dropped immediately right where he stood and other than a few kicks, stopped moving within 30 seconds. At that point, I knew I shot a good buck, but it happened so fast I wasn't sure just how good. Called my Dad on the radio and told him I was going to wait a few minutes before unloading and climbing down. As I walked up to him and saw what I had I couldn't believe it. This is public land that my father has hunted since the mid 60's. At the peak of our camp's history, we had 15-17 guys every year. Now it's just me and Dad, and this is the biggest buck shot in that 45 year history. Needless to say there is a special spot on the wall waiting for him in a few months.
The excitement didn't stop there, although the other excitement wasn't the good kind. We were driving East on Rte 6 after dropping my deer off at the processor, and this guy jumped out of nowhere. It happened faster than a camera flash.
It made us both a little sick to our stomach when we went back to look at him knowing he should have gone down in someone else's crosshairs. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. Despite me covering miles of woods every day, we just couldn't find one for my Dad. I think we'll remember the 2011 opener for long time.
Plenty of other pics of my buck on my photobucket page if anyone wants to look, including one that shows what happens when you give a 73 year old a cell phone and just ask him to push the button. Still can't figure out how he managed to get the graphics added. http://s1133.photobucket.com/albums/...6/2011%20buck/