Hunter: Ashleigh Feltman
Points: 9 (4L, 5R)
The temperature was steadily dropping, and I was beginning to feel disappointed. The sun's light was fading. The wind had been blowing in my face, but it had finally settled down. The squirrels and chipmunks I had been watching and listening to had gone to sleep. Silence was all I heard. I didn't want to start climbing down because I could still see into the clearcut. I was going to wait until I could no longer define the plants in front of me. I would not relent my determination. My father, Tracy, and sister, Mikayla, had recently seen deer in the clearcut; my father had recommended the climber I was in. He had seen sizable rubs and scrapes in the area around it. My goals for the season were to fill the freezer and to shoot my first buck. My hold on my determination was beginning to fade. I had only seen three does since the beginning of the season. The rut was on, and yet, I had failed to see a buck. I was losing hope. Twilight was ending, and though I could still see, time was almost up. Then, I heard the slight rustling of something moving. I had just barely heard it. I scan the area in which the sound had come from... There! Across the clear cut was the movement of a large mammal. A deer, at last! On closer inspection, I realized it was a buck. I could see its large rack from the opposite side where it had exited the woods! I move my gun so that I could look through my scope. I can see him moving in my direction and he was moving too fast for me to accurately judge his size. He walked into the ditch that was in the middle of the clear cut. I could no longer see him! Disappointment flooded my body as I look around for movement. I glance up from my scope to see if I could find him once again. There he was, not but 70 yards in front of me, still walking. I adjust my gun to set my sights on him again. I whistle. Its weak. I try once more. He stopped! He turns his head in the opposite direction of where I'm sitting. I take aim. BOOM! He takes off and runs, but he doesn't get far. He drops 10 yards farther away. I was filled with adrenaline, and my hands were shaking after I put the gun down, safety on. I celebrate inside my head. My sister, not two minutes later, texts me, "Ash was that you?" I reply that it indeed was. She tells me she is coming to help me with the buck. I get down about five minutes later. I can already see Mikayla's flashlight moving within the confines of the woods. I start in the direction of where the buck had dropped. "Did it run or drop?" Mikayla asked. "It ran a little before it dropped." I reply "How many point did it have?" "Eight, I think." I continue through the small trees, searching for my kill. He was out there somewhere. Then, I spot him. "Found him!" Mikayla comes running in my direction. "Woah! That's a big deer." And a big deer he was. He had dropped like he was going to sleep, and in a way, he had. I inspect him further and see that he had not only eight points, but nine. I got a nine point for my first buck! When my father and brother arrived not much later, they too exclaimed that it was a good size deer. We hug and celebrate. Dragging that deer out of the woods was a challenge, but it was well worth showing him off to the other club members. When we tried to weigh him back at camp, he broke two ropes, and on the third try, we got the weight. I call my mother to tell her my story, and she was proud of me. I was filled with joy, and I was so thankful for the smiling people celebrating along with me.