Hunter: Josh Smallwood
Points: 10 (4L, 6R)
This was my very first public land deer hunt. I had a goal to kill at least one public land deer this season. I had scouted the WMA briefly and had found a scrape that seemed pretty fresh. I call my buddy Steven Lujan and told him we should go to the early rifle hunt starting Thursday 10/07/21. We made the hour drive from Temple to find that someone had beat us to both spots I had selected from the previous scouting. We walked 400 to 500 yards in the opposite direction of where we parked and were slightly frustrated we didn’t get there earlier. We decided to finally move to some thick stuff we had found on the maps there in the dark. We had set up blind. Myself in a pine and Steven elected to go a few hundred yards deeper on the ground. At 8:03 this buck came running through the thick stuff straight at me. His face was so white running through the thick brush I thought it was a piebald deer. He stopped in the trail at 15 yards. My scope power had been in the highest setting and I had trouble finding him since he was so close. Finally after getting him in the scope. He started to move again. I tried bleating to him to stop and it spooked him even more. He jumped in what seemed like one leap from the trail to 3 feet from the tree I was in. Unfortunately my scope power was still on the highest setting because this all happened so quickly. At this point he’s 3 feet from my tree and I pointed the rifle barrel at him and fired straight down and by the grace of God hit him. He was so close I did not use my scope. I did have to shoot him again for him to expire. I have no doubt without the Good Lord's help this would have never happened! It was truly a blessing! He weighed 188 pounds live weight and was aged at 5 1/2 years old at the check-in station. Without my buddy Steven, I could have never got him out and loaded in a truck.