Crockett Creek Confessions, Quest For The Phantom Conclusion

GON's 2016 Fall Fiction Series: The Dream Season

Terry Phillips | December 1, 2016

The rut was over. There was still more than a month left in the season, but it was winding down. From here on out, hunting would be hard. Was The Phantom still alive? Had the buck fallen to Zane Westerfield?

And now, the conclusion of “Dream Season.”


Sunday, Nov. 27

At first look, it definitely appeared to be The Phantom. The two companions walked over to Zane, who immediately began laying it on thick about how he decided to pick up the rifle in an effort to put some meat in freezer.

“Look what showed up on my doe hunt,” said Zane.

Jordan looked into the truck.

“He sure did lose a lot of weight during the rut,” Jordan said.

Tyler took one look, and said, “That’s an awesome buck, but it won’t come close to pushin’ 200.”

With that, the others in the background began laughing hysterically as Floyd pulled away an orange vest. It was wrapped around the head of the large doe that Zane shot that morning. The vest had been used to attach the skull to the doe and it made it appear as if they were connected.

Floyd picked up the rack that he had sawed off of a carcass earlier that morning and directed his comments to the entire group standing over the doe,

“I hunted the grown-up field this morning, and on my way out, I smelled something awful. I walked toward it and found this huge dead buck. It looked like he’d been dead for a few weeks. I scored him at 171 2/8.”

Tyler jumped into the conversation, “Oh my goodness, that’s the buck I saw opening morning of gun season. That’s incredible. What happen to him?”

Almost frantic and needing to know more information, he continued asking questions without pause, “How close was he to the food plot?”

Floyd said, “Not far, and get this, his rib cage was exposed from decaying in the field. It looked like one of the ribs was broken. The odd thing is that the broken rib doesn’t appear to be damaged by a bullet wound. Check out his neck. It has cut marks all over it.”

Jordan chimed in, “Are you thinkin’ this buck got his butt whooped and died?”

“It sure looks that way,” Zane said. “If that’s the case, there’s only one buck capable of this.”

Everyone said in unison… “The Phantom.”

Saturday, Dec. 17

It was thus far the coldest morning of the year. The temperature on the thermometer at camp was a tooth chattering 17 degrees. Overnight, a deep arctic front had swept over the Southeast.

“The reason they’re there is because you aren’t,” was Jordan’s December hunting motto. It was because of this motto that this morning would find Jordan somewhere that man rarely set foot. He would be hunting a stand that he and Tyler hung two years ago, during early March. This morning’s hunt would take place on an island in the middle of the creek, below the test fields. The place had been appropriately nicknamed “Shadow Alley Island.” It earned the nickname because in previous hunts on the island the morning sunlight had revealed the shadows of deer, prior to actually seeing the deer. Often, the shadows would be seen just seconds before the deer appeared in the morning sunshine.

The island was situated between the creek and the flats. It had been created through changes in the creek’s flow over the years. The spit of dry ground ranged from 50 to 100 yards wide, and it was about 300 yards long. It had thickets of cane and privet on it, as well as several very mature water oak trees.

The trickle of water flowing over Jordan’s hand stung like a knife as he maneuvered the jonboat into position. Although meticulous by nature, he quickly loaded his gear and cast off into the creek to his destination south of the landing. After a half mile paddle downstream from the highway bridge, Jordan floated quietly up to a sandbar. It was still more than an hour before daylight.

Minutes later, Jordan was sitting in the stand. It was so cold that Jordan could hear the echoing ringing sound of silence that is only heard on very cold mornings. Thirty minutes went by before Jordan’s feet began to ache. As he repositioned himself in the stand Jordan noticed that his rubber boots were sticking to the cold metal platform of the Lone Wolf chain-on.

The cold morning would also add another challenge to his hunt. He had a new weapon of choice with him, a brand new Mathew’s bow. Being a professional remodeler, Jordan was accustomed to the elements. However, the temp this morning would be a ridged test for a young man, much less one nearly 50 years old. As daylight grew closer, he heard the subtle sound of an animal cross the creek followed by a splash.

“This is it,” thought Jordan. “The Phantom has come to bed on the island. My mornin’ to tag out and get a Booner with a bow.”

At magic light, Jordan heard the unmistakable sound of an animal approaching. He put his release on the bow string. He was sure it was him.

“I knew you were hidin’ out on this island. Come over here and say hello.”

It was just getting good enough to see when movement caught Jordan’s attention. A hog’s head poked through the thick canopy of the cane thicket. Jordan tried to move his feet, but his rubber sole boots had stuck again to the stand platform.

Something was eerily strange about the hog. Jordan grabbed his binoculars to help see below. To his amazement, the hog wasn’t walking, but was being carried onto the island. Jordan couldn’t believe his eyes. He began to shake. Twenty-five feet below stood a giant animal, and it was carrying a 100-lb. hog in its mouth. “IT” was a panther. Not just any panther, but a very large male panther.

Jordan began shaking more, with each passing second, at the sight of the big cat.

“Good gracious, what a big animal. It must be 6 feet long, not including the tail,” thought Jordan.

As soon as the cat got within good bow range of the stand, Jordan felt like he was the featured speaker in front of a podium full of strangers with all eyes on him. Instinctively, IT stopped and looked up into the naked canopy. In an instant, hunter versus hunter met eye to eye. Jordan stared into the panther’s yellow eyes. Although Jordan’s first intuition was to normally prepare for the shot, he had no intentions here.

“I know who you are,” whispered Jordan. “We’ve met before.”

Jordan thought of a conversation he heard in passing at Kountry Farm Center recently.

“So you’re what dragged off Mr. Yoder’s calf last week. No wonder none of the locals are lettin’ their children play outside these days.”

Jordan continued staring at the magnificent animal. Luckily for Jordan, his video camera was already running and set up on his camera tree mount. He zoomed in tight and began filming.

“You and I are a lot alike. There aren’t many of us rare old dinosaurs still around,” whispered Jordan. “Regardless of the law, I wouldn’t shoot you anyway. Besides, it appears that we are on the same page when it comes to these STINKING P.I.G. HOGS!”

And with that, the panther was gone.

An hour went by… nothing. It was now 8:30 a.m., and Jordan wasn’t in any hurry to climb down, especially considering he was only carrying a bow. Although cold and still shaking from the previous adrenaline rush from the encounter of a lifetime, he decided to stay and enjoy the woods. The leaves on the trees were falling like rain. Jordan went another 30 minutes before seeing a shadow coming toward him. It was a buck.

Jordan was heart broken as the beautiful buck went by the stand. He had a perfect right beam, but nothing grew out of left pedicel. It would have easily been a Pope and Young buck. Two close encounters in the same morning; on opposite ends of the spectrum. Still, it had been a hunt of a lifetime. He had footage that would forever change the hunting community in Georgia. No one could call him crazy! It was a confirmed sighting, and he had it on video.

Friday, Dec. 30

Christmas had come and gone. Jay was frustrated, down emotionally. He was ending a four-day hunt as the group arrived at camp mid-morning. The temperature the previous afternoon was 70 degrees.

Jordan and Tyler walked up to Jay, who was standing by the smoldering fire pit. Jordan picked up a small stick and stoked the fire as he called everyone together. Jay and Tyler exchanged glances. They couldn’t help but notice Jordan’s unsteady hand and pale complexion.

“Guys, let’s face it. We’ve hunted The Phantom hard. I don’t think we’re gonna get’em by traditional methods at this point in the season,” said Jordan.

The group nodded in agreement.

“I’ve been thinkin’ the entire holiday season and believe I’ve got the perfect plan to get The Phantom,” continued Jordan.

“What do you have in mind?” asked Floyd.

Jordan’s hand again uncharacteristically shook as he reached into the front pocket of his jacket. He pulled out an old white T-shirt, two clothes pins and a bottle of Old Spice cologne.

“Looks like you’re tryin’ to create a magic trick of your own,” chuckled Floyd.

Jordan continued, “My late father-in-law Trollinger taught me everything I know about the woods. He used to talk about how the Indians would steer animals a certain direction and create an ambush. I’ve been watchin’ the weather, and a heck of a storm’s headed our way this afternoon.

Floyd chimed in, “Yeah, massive cold front, calling for a dramatic temperature drop with heavy rain and strong thunderstorms. Gonna hit between 4 and 5.”

“Correct,” said Jordan. “I have a hunch that the Phantom may be hangin’ out around the Pecan Food Plot. The area he beds has two primary escape routes. I think the storm is gonna cause him to reposition for better cover, and when he does…we’re gonna use his strength against him.”

“Well… now for the million dollar question. Who is going to hunt the Pecan this afternoon?” asked Floyd.

“I think it’s only fittin’ that Jay hunts it. After all, he’s yet to get on the board with a big buck here,” replied Tyler.

Jordan and Floyd agreed. With that, the plan was set.

At 3 p.m, the front started to move in as Jordan eased his way to the southwest exit trail of the triangle field of grown-up volunteer pines.

“I know you’re gonna want to head this way,” thought Jordan, as he hung the odor-drenched T-shirt across the faint path. He took the rest of the Old Spice bottle and emptied it.

“Just directing traffic ol’ friend.”

By 4 p.m, it began to steadily rain as thunder rolled and lightning lit up the sky in the distance. The temperature had dipped to 36 degrees.

“Well, you can’t get a buck in camp,” said The Magician. “Probably stay and watch a bowl game if we didn’t have a special plan underway. I’m hunting that hardwood thicket below the apple orchard. Why don’t you ride with me, Jay?”

“Sounds good to me,” said Jay.

Although it didn’t seem possible, the rain began to come down even harder as Jay climbed in the stand. Moments later, the wind was blowing rain sideways, and it appeared to be almost dark. He couldn’t believe it as the cold rain almost instantly started rolling down his back. He was cold to the bone, again, as several texts came in warning him of dark orange on the area weather radar. Minutes later, visibility was all but gone. He felt the stand start to tilt slightly as a strong wind burst ripped through the nearby crackling pecan branches. Jay hurriedly climbed down for cover.

• • •

The buck was bedded. It felt like the ground trembled mightily as the woods began to fill with strange cold, icy objects. They descended down through the evergreen branches with a steady and deafening medley. The golf-ball sized chunks continuously and unmercifully pounded The Phantom.

• • •

By 5 p.m. the hail storm had ended, and the rain finally began to slack off. It had changed to a light, misting drizzle when a yearling doe came out of the planted pines to feed in the food plot covered in hail. Out of mere habit, Jay continued scanning the food plot and planted pines around him.

A thick Hollywood style fog began to roll across the food plot, coming off the cotton field behind the stand. The doe fed for a few more minutes before lifting her head and looking back toward the planted pines.

Jay glanced over and thought he saw another deer standing on the edge of the pines. The fog had cut down on visibility and made it hard to see.

“That looks like a buck,” thought Jay.

Jay grabbed his binoculars and began to shake uncontrollably as he struggled to maintain his composure. The combination of being wet and cold and also seeing The Phantom was almost too much. Nonetheless, he started reaching for his gun. The buck was locked up like a sculpture masterpiece. It didn’t even look real. Amazingly, the grey fog and the old monarch buck appeared to be close to the same color.

The storm had the Phantom out of sorts and off his routine. However, he still alertly watched the stand that Tyler occupied. He’d made a critical mistake as he followed the exit trail leading away from the pines. It was spurred by the freak weather storm and steered by the smelly foreign item in the woods that flapped in the wind. It was just way too early to be out in the open. The fog was so thick that it had made it look like it was about 45 minutes closer to dark than it actually was.

As though coming out of hypnosis, The Phantom looked at his surroundings and back at the stand and began heading for the security of the woods. Instinctively, the buck knew he was in danger and began trotting toward the pines. The end of an era began to climax as he stopped at the wood line and turned one last time to view his kingdom.

The 7 mag in hand, Jay clicked the safety off. In the next few seconds, he would capitalize on the opportunity of a lifetime. He didn’t have time to get more nervous. He placed the crosshairs on The Phantom’s shoulder and fired.

At the sound of the impact of the shot, Floyd jumped out of his seat.

“I can’t believe he shot a doe at 5:35 p.m. What’s wrong with him,” said Floyd.

A few minutes went by before Floyd heard a loud yelling.

“Come here, I got The Phantom!”

Floyd began down the tree in his Summit Viper climbing stand. By the time he got to the ground it was dark. He grabbed his flashlight and turned it on. The batteries were dead.

Luckily for Floyd, he knew the woods well. As he made his way to Jay, he caught a flicker of light, deep in the woods below him. He stopped, the light flickered again. It was heading in the same general direction as Floyd.

Within minutes, Floyd approached Jay in tears.

“You ain’t gonna believe what I’ve done. I got The Phantom.”

The two ran across the food plot and into the pines. There he lay, all 14 points of him. It was a clean typical. Jay ran over to the buck and grabbed his antlers. The ecstatic two men hugged and gave each other high fives. They whooped and hollered for a solid 5 minutes like children playing in a park sprinkler on a hot July day.

The Phantom was truly a monster. Even after loosing a tremendous amount of weight during the rut, the buck still looked like it was straight out of Wisconsin. It weighed an astounding 260 pounds.

Floyd looked at Jay.

“Young man, do you know what you’ve done? This buck will no doubt shatter the state record.”

Jay grinned from ear to ear.

“Look how grey he is. He almost looks silver,” he said.

Floyd grabbed his cloth tape and measured the G2s.

“Seventeen inches,” said Floyd.

“Watch this,” said Jay. “I can’t even get my finger to touch my thumb at the base of his antlers.”

Floyd measured the base of the right beam. “I’d say so. It’s over 7 inches at the base.”

Floyd examined the buck more carefully.

“Look, it has an old wound on his right hindquarter and on its under belly.”

“Let’s go get the others,” said Floyd. “We’ll ask Tyler to score him.”

When the two men reached Floyd’s truck, Floyd gave Jay his keys.

Jay looked puzzled. Floyd’s facial expression dramatically changed as he looked at Jay and whispered in a serious tone, “I want you to drive to camp and get everyone, including Zane. We’re gonna definitely need help loadin’ up your buck. I think I left my flashlight, so be sure to hurry back!”

Jay was so excited that he didn’t pick up on Floyd’s tone.

Floyd knew he had pulled the ultimate trick from his magic hat. He’d left the perfect bait. As Floyd eased up on the poacher, his suspicions were confirmed.

“These storms encourage trespassers. They don’t think anyone else will be in the woods,” Floyd said to himself.

The poacher was kneeling over The Phantom taking pictures with his middle finger as he sang his little melody… “Just shootin birds, shootin birds, they call me the bird man, cause I shoot with the bird.”

At the sound of the snapping branch, the poacher turned to see Floyd standing right behind him. His eyes  were wild, his goatee unshaven.

The wiry man had one choice. He cracked an eerie, snuff stained smile before he lunged toward Floyd’s knees. Floyd side stepped the poacher and slammed his head into the ground. He reached into his back pocket and grabbed his wallet.

Floyd shouted, “I’m gonna let you up; I’ve got your wallet. You can run, but it won’t do you any good.”

The poacher resisted, but Floyd held the man’s wiry arm in a reverse T-bar behind his back while he waited on everyone to arrive.

The poacher knew he had to escape and somehow wiggled his way out of Floyd’s hold. An all out brawl ensued. Just when it looked like the poacher was going to break away, Floyd bear hugged and drove him backyard, tripping together over The Phantom. As the two hit the ground, Floyd put The poacher in a head lock and waited for help.

Moments later, the group showed up. Jordan walked up to the poacher.

“Well, well, it seems The Magician has used one of his tricks to catch ya,” he said.

Floyd got up as Zane grabbed the poacher by the back of his flannel shirt, lifting him 6 inches off the ground. Floyd wiped the mud off his knees and elbows and looked at the trespasser.

“I knew you couldn’t resist coming when you heard all that screaming and hollering. I knew you would have to check it out,” said Floyd.

“The game warden is on his way. You are going to jail,” said Jordan.

Desperate, the poacher turned to Jay, “So how’s that thar head of yourn? Hab yur ribs heeled yet?”

Jay looked at the poacher’s hand and saw that he was missing his right trigger finger. Like a light switch being turned on, the dots connected.

“So what happened to your finger?” asked Jay.

“I used to raise rattlas. One day, I got snake bit on my my dern trigga finger. I didn’t wanna let the white collas with the state know I was raisin’ those rattle shakas without a permit. Tried to treat it myself, ended up havin’ to amputate my own trigga finger,” said the poacher.

The poacher continued talking, he was now going a mile a minute. He told how he used to hunt the farm, before “goin’ away to jail for a spell.”

Jay looked at the group and said, “Guys, this is my moment, and I probably would have drowned if he hadn’t saved my life. We may regret this later, but I think we should let him go as restitution for pulling me to safety.”

After discussion and debate, they finally agreed to let him go as long as he promised not to ever trespass on their place again. The poacher, a man named Cletus Jones, knew this would save him from a parole violation and humbly agreed. Luckily, one of the members had a little extra insurance to make sure Cletus kept his word. As custom when the group came to help drag a buck back to camp, a video camera had been rolling since the group arrived. Carboni had videoed the entire event and conversation!

Cletus looked at the group and thanked them.

“I’ll leave yourn flash box on the front step of yourn clubhouse. I had to take it down because it took a pitcha of me.”

He then turned and looked at Jay, “It also had a pitcha of yourn rake buck. I’ll give you a copy of it, too.”

Cletus took a few safe steps toward the woods… “Oh, one last thing… that shore is a nice stand y’all put in that cypress tree above my little leaner on the back of the swamp.”

And with that, Cletus was gone.

In no time, Dooly County game warden, Abe Wilcox, pulled up and approached the elated group. He took one look at the buck and agreed it was probably the new state record.

“The sheriff’s office informed me that y’all might have caught a trespasser?” asked Abe.

Jay spoke up, “Sorry Mr. Wilcox, turned out to be a false alarm.”

The group returned to camp and celebrated through the night. It was a party and celebration like no other. Tyler gave the buck a net green score of 198 5/8. The Phantom grossed a remarkable 207 1/8.

“This looks like it will beat the Buck Ashe state record of 191 4/8!” exclaimed Tyler.

They all decided that Jay should go ahead and retire from deer hunting.

“Do you know what you have done?” asked Carboni. “This will be something that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.”

Jay agreed and thanked Tyler for giving the suggestion that he hunt the Pecan. He then thanked and gave Jordan a hard knuckle punch.

“After all, we wouldn’t be here celebrating right now if not for your plan,” said Jay.

Jordan looked at everyone. “Isn’t it awesome that Jay took The Phantom in the same food plot that Tyler found the shed antler back during August?”

Tyler had kept the shed in the cabin. He brought it out and compared it with The Phantom’s current rack. They all marveled at the similarities.

“Look how much more mass this year’s rack has than last year’s shed. The G2s are also 2 inches longer and the right main beam is over 30 inches!”

With that, Tyler turned and smiled at Jay as he extended the shed antler to him.

“It’s only fittin’ that you have the shed antler now, it will look good in your house sitting on your bookshelf next to The Phantom on your wall.”

Jay looked at Tyler and the two embraced in friendship as they again began hooting and hollering at what they’d accomplished. Everyone else jumped on Jay like he’d just hit a walk-off, game-winning home run. Little did they know, it would be the last time they all shared such as moment.

The next day, a guy from GON drove down from Madison to take pictures and get the story. Jay’s photo with The Phantom graced the February cover of GON. They also did a feature story on the club’s success and included a group photo of everyone with their bucks. The title of the article was called “Crockett Creek Confessions.”

Jay easily won Week 17 of the GON Truck-Buck contest. As a matter of fact, Jay and Gus both won their respective weeks and represented the club at the Gwinnett Center the following July in the Truck Buck Shoot-Out. They both made it to the Sunday finals, and Jay took second place and won a The Beast hunting buggy. It was desperately needed after his accident!

Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017

It was the last weekend of deer season. Normally everyone would have been deeply depressed, but the group was still pumped about Jay’s buck and the season they’d experienced.

On Sunday afternoon, one of the Westerfield farm hands pulled into camp with a smile on his face. In the back of his pick up were two freshly made troughs.

“Been hearin’ bout’ you boys. It’s time to get a head start on next year.”

Tyler walked over and saw six bags of McNess deer feed.

“Looks like you’re ready for next year’s growin’ season,” said Tyler.

“Yep,” he replied. “I can’t wait to see what will happen next fall. Who knows, maybe I’ll be in the Truck Buck Shoot-Out next year. See y’all around.”

Nov. 3, 2042

Fifty-five-year-old Tyler had recently retired from big corporate. As he sat in the deer stand, a strong gust of wind pushed a small limb across his neck. He quickly shook his head back and forth and wondered just how long he’d been daydreaming. He rubbed his eyes. It was like he’d been in a deep trance all day.

The sudden, unexpected burst of wind was unusual in that the day had otherwise been perfectly still. The branch against the back of his neck felt like someone had just nudged him from behind. It gave Tyler chill bumps. It was as if the spirit of an old friend and fellow woodsman was prodding him back to present.

He paused and stared at his watch. It was 5 p.m. He’d been sitting in The Trollinger Stand overlooking the test plots since an hour prior to daylight.

The long hours in the stand had given Tyler time to reflect, and he found himself thinking about all the years they’d hunted the property. All the hunts, the good times, the camaraderie at camp, the life-long friends created, memories shared and the various stages of becoming a “Trophy Hunter.” He’d been reminiscing all day long; having a “Dream Season” about the many successful hunts spanning 30 plus years. No season more tremendous than the magical season when it all came together; the year that Jay took The Phantom.

Jordan and Tyler often commented over the years that the only time of the year they could possibly leave this earth would be during the winter. Otherwise, the promise of another deer season would keep them going for another year. It was only fitting that Jordan passed away during this time. They just didn’t know it would happen so soon after the year of The Phantom.

At his bedside, Jordan made Tyler promise that each day on Nov. 3, as long as he was able, he would hunt the Trollinger and spread a portion of his ashes from the stand each season. The Trollinger Stand had earned its name as a dedication to Jordan’s late father-in-law years ago. The year Trollinger passed, Jordan and his wife, Sonya, climbed in the stand together and sprinkled some of his ashes across the food plot.

Tears rolling down Tyler’s unshaven face. He pulled the urn from the front pocket of his jacket and sat it next to him. Tyler looked at the Montana blue sky above and gave thanks to The Lord for such a great friend and for the never ending passion that had bonded their friendship. It was time for the second dedication from the stand to take place. Ironically, it was also the same stand that Jordan had his tragic accident…caused by losing his grip due to an early stage illness.

It was a promise that made Tyler’s mind run in many extremes today. As Tyler sat in the stand thinking about the conversation, he felt like he had a huge lump of coal in his throat.

Twenty-five years had passed since The Phantom had met his match on that fateful stormy afternoon in late December. Generations of his offspring created many more exciting hunting seasons. In fact, the members of Crockett Creek Trophy Club and area neighbors took multiple Boone & Crockett buck—a feat that won the club and area fame. Locals renamed the stretch of Jawbone Creek that flowed through their property Crockett Creek

But those stories, and the legendary bucks they hunted, are best saved for another time and place…

• • •

The state DNR floated up and down Crockett Creek for a solid month after Jordan’s encounter with the panther. They never found any evidence. But every few years, someone reports seeing a shape cross the road during the middle of the night, just out of reach of approaching headlights.

Jordan‘s panther footage won him much notoriety in the outdoor community. Jordan submitted his footage to Realtree productions and it was included in “The Best of Realtree’s Home Videos IX.” He was invited to Saskatchewan to hunt with the host of the video, Jim Shockey.

Zane became a tremendous friend and strong alley with the club throughout the years. His children and Tyler and Jay’s children also became big hunting buddies. They all worked together to form a QDMA alliance and cooperative that covered a large radius.

Over the years, Dooly County won many visionary awards from the outdoor industry for being the first county in the United States to institute county wide antler restrictions in 1993.

Looking back, most Georgia hunters would have viewed the group’s future Boone and Crockett success as unachievable… more like just a dream. However, these men had the foresight to realize they had all the ingredients of the Midwest and Texas right in their own backyard—great genetics, a super selective buck harvest, and food.

Many years later, while sitting around the campfire, the group told Raymus about the time they thought he was the poacher. Recently, Carboni inherited a large sum of money and bought his own place closer to Florida. The group invited Raymus to buy out Carboni’s share of the partnership. It was an invitation that Raymus enthusiastically accepted.

• • •

Thoughts once again faded back to present as the first deer arrived to the food plot began feeding along the edge of the Biologic Millennium. It was a good sign, a mature doe, very nervous.

Tyler slowly rose up in The Trollinger Stand and dispersed a portion of ash in the breeze. He surveyed his surroundings, taking in the view from this special stand on this special proeprty. There was sadness on Tyler’s face, but it changed into eagerness as he gazed at the approaching sunset. It was dancing above the tree tops as the last hour of daylight began to unfold. Magic hour was here. He re-situated his gear and settled in for the evening hunt.

It was the weekend of November the 3rd, known around here as “Sneak Peek Weekend,” and it was time to get a buck. Another rut was on. The November hourglass was running once again.

What a treasure!

The Gift continues.

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