I met Bob and Mac yesterday around 5 in the afternoon. It would be my first trip up a tree stand this hunting season. A breeze ebbed and flowed and rustled the leaves. It was music to my ears. My vantage point sat among an oak bottom, and this year there is an abundance of acorns. Yesterday was the last day before the clocks got turned back. That meant I would have enough light to hunt until shortly after 7.
As usual the wind died down to an occasional breath just before the sun hid behind the horizon. Finally I could hear the birds scratching for a few more seeds and bugs before they roosted for the night. Every few minutes an acorn would trickle down through the colorful canopy and plunk to the ground. Slowly I turned my head enough to scan the zone I was sitting over. Being in the woods always brings a sense of peace and serenity.
Thirty minutes before the light would dim for the day I saw a doe coming toward me along the edge of the field to my right. I gave her a good look through my scope but decided she would get to see another sunrise. As is always the case, it's never really about tagging a deer, I simply love the solitude. The doe faded out of sight and returned to give me one last look then before dark.
At 7:15 I popped out the clip, emptied the chamber, and quietly made my way out of the tree stand. Once my feet were on the ground I stood statue still for a minute or two. I knew that the deer often come in from behind me and I didn't want to give my position away even though I was through for the night. After a couple of minutes I made my way down the dim road and slowly entered the power line. Once again, God provided a little serendipity. The power line makes a slow incline back in the direction of my truck. There on the rim, where the sky meets the ground, was a doe back lighted by the still orange sky. I just stood there smiling -- taking in the moment.