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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the years everything has changed, the guns, the bows, the arrows, bullets, everything. But one thing will never change. That blood fever feeling that comes over us all when you enter the woods; go to a lake, river, stream, the wilds. I know as soon as I enter the woods, I have come back to my roots. What I have bred to do as a man.
The Hunt, whether it be fish, ducks, geese, turkeys, Elk, Bear, Deer, or what it is, we all have been bred to hunt, to survive. This, my friends is what will never, ever change. For those of us who remember those that came before us, we remember what they had to and how they survived. When If I loose that fever for the hunt, I will have to be dead, and even then I will be haunting the woods looking for that monster buck.
I was born to a hunting family. We hunted pheasants, deer, pigs, turkeys, rabbits, and any other game that was edible, we hunted. My first hunt for deer is the one I am going to tell you about today; I know I shall never forget that first real hunt.
Summer ends and the leaves start to change and slowly I feel the urge to do something. When it first hits, I don’t know immediately what this feeling is, but it grows like a fever. I was 12 years old when I dad said this was the year for me to get a buck. The moment he said that my heart raced, my thoughts go wild. I am sitting there listening to his every word but my mind is racing. It is September and my birthday is today the 10th. We are sitting at the kitchen table, right after breakfast. Dad is drinking his coffee and me getting ready to go do my chores. We lived on a farm and had just about every animal you could have on a farm so daily chores for me was to feed all the animals.
But now Dad has my full attention. He goes on to say that I need to complete a gun safety course. And I can probably use one of his rifles. With that my Mom who was doing dishes left the room. My dad continues on saying that I can’t hunt alone until I prove that I am ok in the woods by myself. I had been on every deer hunting trip with my family, but I was always with my brothers doing a drive spooking deer out to the adults so they could get a shot. I had hunted pheasant and rabbit, but that was different. I used a 22, a 410 shotgun and a 12 gauge shotgun, but this was around the farm and mostly fields. As my dad continues talking, I don’t see my mom enter and stand behind me. My dad stops in mid sentence and changes the subject and said, 'you know, a boy should start his first deer hunt off right. He then says hey Mom don’t you agree. She comes around and hands me a long box. Tears come into my eyes and I rip into the box. As new as could be there sat a 30-30 Winchester lever action. Tears rolling down my eyes I put the box/rifle down and jump to my feet and give both mom and dad the biggest hug a boy could give.
As the days tick by towards opening day of deer season, it is only 2 days before opening day. My family, consisting of, Mom, Dad, and three bothers and three sisters, are in a rush packing the camper for the trip to come. You can feel fever kicking hard now, all you can do is think about the hunt. You can’t sleep, and can’t focus on anything else but the upcoming hunt.
Our hunting trip consists of our immediately family and 3 other families. Our camping spot usually consists of 3 to 4 trailers and campers and a fire pit big enough around to give a whole tribe of Indians a place to dance around.
The camp is setup the 20-30 people are all gathered around the fire pit to discuss the next days hunt. It is the usual the kids will do the drive and the hunters will set up on the hills above the valleys. The drivers will walk the valleys and drive the deer out. The night is long, and I cant sleep. This is worse than Christmas. The feelings are 10 times stronger and the patience is thin.
Cant morning come. Finally the alarm goes off at 3am. My Mom jumps from bed and starts the morning feast. I get dressed and go out side in the dark. There is already my uncle standing by fire he just started. The men all gather around the fire as all the women prepare a feast of a breakfast. The men again all discuss the hunt, the areas and the tactics for the day.
The day is eventful, we get back to camp around 10 am and we have 4 does and 3 bucks. 2 of my uncles got the first 2 bucks; my mom got a nice fat doe. And when I mean huge deer, we were hunting mule deer. My dad missed a nice buck, but it was running hard when he shot. My oldest sister got the third buck when it basically ran right up the hill to her. With deer hanging in the trees and the adults all going down for a nap.
I ask my dad if I can go to the clearing that borders our camp. He resistibly says yes but don’t go any farther. The clearing is about 300 yards from our camp and our camp being ingulphed in the woods. I grab my rifle, orange hat and orange vest and head out.
It is 12 pm midday. I work my way up to the clearing and start walking around the clearing. I step lightly as I look across the clearing at the woods on the far side. The clearing is about 150 across. I make sure I stay back in the woods about 15 feet and am silent as can be. I work my way around the clearing. My heart is thumping, my eyes intent on every twig, branch and log. I feel the fever bad now. Nothing else matters but this moment right here, right now. I long to see any site of any deer. I have a buck tag and a doe tag.
I can feel the fever worse with every step and every minute that passes. I come to a stop sensing something is watching me as intent as I am to see what is. I am looking about 75 yards away on the other side of the clearing and see this odd log. This log looks to be laying 2 feet of the ground. It has a gray color to it. It looks to have a odd shaped limb sticking out of it. I slowly follow the outline of the limb and then it happens.
At the end of the limb, a branch flickers. It all slowly comes into view. I make out eyes, a face, a snout, the ears, and a rack. The buck is staring right at me, trying to figure what I am. I slowly crouch down behind a log. I am scared at first that he is lost to me and I am dreaming. I raise my rifle and rest it on top of the log. The buck flickers another ear and looks away then looks back at me again. I take aim behind the front leg. My heart is pounding, and I am trying stop the shaking. I am shaking so bad. I can hear my heart now, chest heaving. The fever has engulphed me. My face is probably red from the blood rushing to it.
I slowly squeeze off the trigger, for the split second I loose sight of the buck, but then the woods come alive. The buck heaves in the air and all the sudden I see 6-8 other deer spring to life. A doe jumps to her feet and looks into my eyes, I reload and squeeze off another round at her. Now all I can see is tails everywhere, running at full speed away from this mad man. I come out of the woods and reload again another round into the chamber. I come across to the clearing to where I saw them last. Then it hits me, I got to let the others know. I fire 2 rounds into the ground. This is our camp/group signal that a deer is down after the shot.
As I walk across the clearing the woods come alive with my family yelling my name and storming into the clearing. My dad is practically running to me yelling what is going on. As he approaches and others approach as well and circle me. I explain what happened. My dad asked are you sure you saw deer. I tell the story over again. Now the whole hunting party has me surrounded. I take dad to the woods where I saw the buck, there on the ground is huge blood spot, not ten feet away there is another blood trail. My father, brothers, sisters, and mom and I all follow one blood trail. While other family follow the other trail. My heart still racing, we walk about 25 yards and my Dad yells at the top of lungs whoo hoo, and grabs me up in his arms. I still have not seen the buck. We race over to a tree and there slumped against the tree is a 12 point buck, six on one side and six on the other. I grab him up in my arms and hold all to see. It takes 2 of my brothers to peel me off of him and go see the doe the others found that I had shot.

We all arrive back at camp and i am asked too many times to remember to retell the story. My buck and my doe now hang with the others. This was after so many pictures taken of me and my deer that my eyes were still seeing flashes from those old Kodak Polaroid cameras. I am congratulated many times over and feeling like the king of the world. I have joined the ranks of many before me. I am a survivor, a hunter. That feeling, that fever swells deep inside me....I can feel it....

Can you feel it, can you feel what we are born to do? It is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It will never go away, it will never change. It will be passed on from generation to generation. It is the spirit in us all that comes even more alive when we set foot in the steps of our forefathers. That spirit is thee most alive when we do what we born to do. The fever, the spirit, I can feel it....

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7,194 Posts
Great story, it felt like I was there with all of you! A few lines you wrote hit home with me also...

I know as soon as I enter the woods, I have come back to my roots.
Exactly the way I feel, it feels like I'm home when I'm there.

When If I loose that fever for the hunt, I will have to be dead, and even then I will be haunting the woods looking for that monster buck.
I'll be haunting the woods along with you, maybe chasing after the bucks from years past all over again.
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