There's a certain, large wild cherry tree on the tip of a high point on my ridgetop that was OBVIOUSLY placed there by the Lord for my enjoyment in flintlock season.
Right where the hillside rolls over the top of the point stands, what has become known as The Flintlock Tree. The hill rolls off 180 degrees beside and behind. A gorgeous flat reaches out toward distant feeding areas to the front.
Looking out front:
I climbed the hill this morning with my rifle, shooting stick and trusty 3-legged, folding stool in tow. I arrived at the cherry tree about official, legal shooting light and sat down on the stool........rifle across my lap. I laid a small rag across the lock to keep the falling snow off. About 7:30 I decided it was actually daylight enough to make an ethical shot. So I primed the pan and started to scan.
Not 15 minutes later, a mature doe and fawn came walking an old woods road in front of me from my right to my left. They were about 70 yards when I spotted them. I glassed the big doe just to make sure.......... They walked the road down into a deep roll. Just before they disappeared, I pulled the hammer from half on back to full. At 60 yards, the slight click in the quiet morning air locked that doe up, radar my way RIGHT NOW. But she could neither see nor smell me so they walked down into the roll out of sight. I moved my gun on the stick around to the left of straight ahead.....right where they would come up out of the roll.
The big doe came into sight, still walking on the road but at a pretty brisk pace. I moved the gun slightly more left to an opening just as she came into it. At 50 yards, I gave a "maaah !!" and she froze........looking right at me. I laid my finger on the front trigger and sent a PA Conical her way. Both deer bolted straight away from me. But I could see the old gal was tail down and chugging hard. Just as she ALMOST got out of sight she crashed.
The tag reads 7:48 AM. The Flintlock Tree, once again, provides...........
Scene of the hit:
The blood trail:
The droplets were EVERYWHERE. But they fell straight down into the fluffy, fresh snow making them harder to see. She was spraying at least a 30" wide trail !!
The doe just as she fell......entrance wound up:
Glamour shot of my trusty, old rifle: