Hunter: Paula Ball
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
My husband and I were drawn for the December quota hunt at Chickasawhatchee. We have been to the hunt before, but we still have not quite figured out how to hunt the area. Wade went up early Wednesday to scout, and he put up two stands for us to hunt Thursday morning. On Thursday morning, I went to my stand and had not been there long when a 4-point came out on my right. I decided I did not want to use a buck tag for a 4-point. About 10 minutes later a 200-lb. gilt came in from the opposite direction. I decided to shoot her since neither one of us has killed a hog this year. Thursday afternoon and Friday morning we saw nothing. After lunch on Friday, we decided we would do some scouting and maybe find a location. On our way out of the camp, we ran into some guys that had shot a deer and could not find it. We went with them to help search for the deer. We spent a couple of hours looking but to no avail. Afterwards, we went back to camp and got ready to go hunt. I had not been in the stand very long when I heard something running through the woods from my left. I spotted the buck running toward me, but I could not get a shot because of the fallen debris. I knew my only shot would be directly in front of me. The thought crossed my mind that I was not going to get a shot at the buck. However, when he got right in front of my stand, he hesitated. I took the opportunity to shoot, and he fell within 15 feet of my stand. When the deer fell, his head went back and his horns went into the ground. I waited a little over an hour before Wade came in to help get it out of the woods. I had convinced myself the buck was not as good as I originally thought. When he reached down to pick up the rack, he raised the horns out of the dirt and said, "Dang what a deer." We were both pleasantly surprised. The lesson that I got from the experience was if we had not taken the time to try to help some fellow hunters, we would not have been hunting where we were. I felt very blessed and that I had been rewarded for a good deed.