Vision of a Lifetime

Male and female Mule deer

Image via Wikipedia

I had an absolutely wonderful breathtaking weekend.  Everyone knows how much I enjoy a beautiful sunrise, but Sunday morning I had an added bonus to the experience.  One of those things a person is lucky to see once in a lifetime.  Just about any deer hunter will know what I mean.  There is always the dream buck.  The chances of actually seeing one is about as close as winning the lottery.  Sunday morning, I was the lucky winner of a lottery that has no monetary value, only spiritual reward.


We arrived at camp late Thursday night, actually Friday Morning, too tired to do much more than unload our bags and equipment.  It was a very warm morning, we didn’t even have to run the heater for the very few hours of sleep before waking at 5:00 AM.  The morning hunt was uneventful for me, other than enjoying yet another sunrise, I saw no game what so ever.  J.J. and I spent the rest of the day checking feeders, and making sure things were set for the rest of the weekend.   There really is quite a bit of work involved in keeping the hunting interesting and productive.  The advantage is that it is all enjoyable work with a positive prospects.


Friday evening, I was treated to a special moment.  While sitting in the blind, patiently waiting for the deer to start moving, I caught a slight movement in my peripheral vision.  As I gazed down the trail, focusing on what I believed to be movement, I noticed it once more.  Lifting my binoculars slowly and focusing them on the location, I saw a Bobcat.  The stealthy predator was in search of a lone quail or other unsuspecting little creature.  Moving with determined measure, slowly proceeding then pausing while looking around.  I was amazed by the lithe, effortless advance.  The Bobcat was so intent on looking under every bush and tree, he did not notice a silent spectator high above him in that strange looking box.  The movements of the cat mesmerized me, and held my attention in rapt fascination.  There is a certain quality to the sleek purposeful efforts of a cat on the prowl, especially a wild cat.  Lord only knows how many other animals I missed while watching this beautiful Bobcat on a hunt of it's own.


I enjoyed a very colorful sunset, and brought some of that back to share with you.  The video will be at the bottom of the post, the quality is not very good, but what do you expect from an amateur like me.  If I had any sense at all, I would have videoed the Bobcat, but it didn’t even cross my mind until the moment was over.


Saturday morning welcomed us with a brutal wind, and moderate temperatures.  I saw only a few deer, and they were all very jump and unsure of the noises being caused by the wind.  Returning to the camper, we had a nice lunch of leftovers from J.J.’s Christmas meal.    While J.J. took a long nap, I sat down at the lap top and wrote a post that I may publish later in the week. Before I knew it, it was time to go back out for the evening hunt.  I choose to sit a blind I haven’t used all year.  It’s a tripod blind, mostly used for bow hunting.  There is no protection from the elements, and very little cover to prevent being seen by the deer.  I was welcomed by 15 doe, and a half dozen yearlings.  Such an amazing sight in itself, and providing the opportunity to take the doe I needed.  It’s important to balance the population, and if one takes only bucks, there will be a resulting overpopulation, causing strife and hunger among the herd.


Sunday morning was bitter cold, 22 degrees, but luckily there was little to no wind.  I sat a different blind once again, one with a heater, I’m not a complete fool.  The wait for mornings gray light seemed longer than normal.  As the sky lightened, and shadows started to take shape, I began scanning the tree lines and field.  Many times the changing shadows will play tricks on you, so I was not surprised to see something moving far back in the trees.  I focused the binoculars on the area, and was welcomed with the form of a deer moving slowly through the trees.  I could tell it was a mature buck, and I was excited to see more activity. 


I had already filled my tags, so this was simply a sight seeing hunt.  As the deer got closer and closer, and the sky lighter, I could tell it was a big bodied buck.  I could not see the antlers clearly yet, so I did not know the amazing majesty that was moving before my very eyes.  The Buck walked slowly grazing as he went, pausing seldom.  He was making quick progress on his route, and obviously had some purposeful intent to his route.  As he got closer, I could just start seeing the glint of light off his antlers.  They seemed large, but again unclear as yet.  My anticipation was growing, and I grabbed the video camera.  Trying to focus in on the animal, I discovered that it was simply too dark for the camera to work.  I was going to have to watch, and have no way to share what I was about to see.  The buck walked along, not 20 yards from where I sat.  I could tell his antlers were very tall, taller than any I had seen.  When he got  beside the blind, he looked right at me and shook his head, almost as if laughing.  What stood before me was the buck of a lifetime.  He was a spectacular 8 point with G2 tines that were at least 14 inches tall.  My pulse was already racing, breath held in check by my excitement.   What was most spectacular about him was the width of his majestic rack.  He had to be no less than 25 inches wide.  This would be a buck that many a hunter would love to shoot, yet I could only watch and bow to his royal beauty, as he walked by.  It was as if he had decided to grace me with his presence, and I was truly grateful for the experience.



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Shadow said...

you know how to drag me right into the wild with you. beautiful writing. and cats. my favourite. would have loved to have watched that too...

Jena Isle said...

That was a very breath-catching narrative, palpable and alive. I was smiling as I imagine you looking at him and not being able to do anything.

Thanks for sharing the experience Eric. Happy New year.

Jena Isle said...

And the video made it even more alive. Thanks.

the walking man said...

You're a good man Eric; most hunters here would have taken the buck without a tag and hoped to skate by.

forsythia said...

Wonderful writing. I almost felt as if I was there too.

confused said...

thanks for the break and taking me on a great trip with your words..:)

Sandee (Comedy +) said...

I'm glad you had a terrific time Eric. That's what life is all about.

Have a great day and may you and yours have a very Happy New Year. :)

LarryG said...

I love what you are doing out there!
Enjoy your stuff!

Happy New Year!
May 2009 lift you up in wonderful ways!

Roy said...

There is really nothing as priceless as those simple and rare pleasures that we get in life.

It's ironic that in these days of modern technology, it's the simple things that can 'make it all worthwhile'

Happy New Year!

Alexys Fairfield said...

Hi Eric,
Happy New Year. May the new year bring you lots more opportunitie to see the wonders of nature while traversing the journey of life.

Cloudia said...

I feel as if I witnessed these great things. Thank you for taking us along; Aloha-

tashabud said...

It sounds that your soul and body are well rejuvenated from your retreat. Beautiful narrative. I saw and experienced everything, through your words. The video is also a nice touch. I'm glad you had your fill of what makes you truyly happy.

Happy New Year!

Eric S. said...

@ Shadow, You would have been just as spellbound as I was. They are simply beautiful, and really amazing to watch. Happy New Year.

@ Jena, Thanks, I can tell you it was one of the overwhelming, yet most vexing things to happen to me. Happy New Year.

@ The Walking Man, Thanks, you know it just would not have been right. He'll be around next year, and just maybe I'll see him again. And he'll be bigger too. Happy New Year.

@ Forsythia, thank you dear lady. Happy New Year.

@ Confused, Thanks for reading. I'm glad you like the journey. Happy New Year

@ Sandee, Thanks, you are so right. I hope you have a wonderful New Year also. Happy New Year

@ Larry, Thank you. It is one of those passions of mine. Happy New Year.

@ Roy, Yes indeed, it is the simplest thing that bring the most satisfaction. Just like the love of family. Happy New Year.

@ Alexys, Thank you so much. I hope 2009 bring you much reward, and a speedy publication to your book.

@ Cloudia, Thank you. I do enjoy these trips, and it's fun trying to put them down on paper, or screen. Aloha and happy New Year

Liara Covert said...

Readers readily enter your mind and experience your magic moments. You share in great detail the energy forms you savor. Your senses and peripheral vision extend beyond the fields you are consciously using. This helps explain why you get so close to animals and nature. You connect with them on unseen levels. You are reconnecting to your nature spirit and the core of your energy. It is a magical experience. We share in the emotion of your dance of life. It renews us all.

Eric S. said...

@ Tasha, we must have been passing in the blogosphere. I can't imagine how your comment got posted before my,LOL. Thank you kind girl. I hope you have a happy and enjoyable New Year.

@ Liara, Your words are so kind and eloquent. I have trouble believing I deserve them. I am simply trying to express my visions as best I can. It has become a passion for me. Nature or the great outdoors is the place I feel truly at home no matter what geographic location I am at. Thank you, and have a wonderful and prosperous new year.

Lilly's Life said...

Wow that was beautifully written Eric. Reminds me of a film I just saw called the Queen. She saw a majestic deer which was truly beautiful.

Great sunset too - just beautiful!1

June Saville said...

Experiences such as yours this week must be such source of renewal Eric. I'm pleased you couldn't kill the buck though ...
June in Oz

Kel said...

I agree with June Saville, doe meat fills the larder fine, there's no need for us to take an elegant and long-lived fellow like your guest buck. At least not until he's too old to lead the herd effectively.

I liked the video, and the story. Were you using your cell phone? Or a hand-held camcorder-type thingy-ma-bob?

Eric S. said...

@ Lilly, thank you. It was a beautiful moment, one I will remember for some time.

@ June, to tell you the truth, so am I he needs a few more years before he will reach his true potential. I just hope he survives that long. Yea these weekends are very rejuvenating.

@ Kel, I knew you would say that, LOL. It was a pleasure for me just to see him. I hope I get to see him in the next couple of years when he will be truly amazing.

The camera, is a small digital video camera. I got it off Craigs List for a mere 70.00. It costs 328.00 brand new still available in stores today. It is not really good for scenery, it's more of an up close family gathering type of camera.

soulMerlin said...

yes you really 'saw' everything - that is evident from a great piece of writing.


Kel said...

Very cool. We're shopping a new diggie for the RanDawg, not 100% sure what we will select, and not rushing into it. But I am encouraging him to go ahead and get the best camera he feels we can afford, because he is taking such REALLY good photos these last few years. I am curious to see what he would do with a better tool at his disposal.

Eric S. said...

@ Henry, Thank you, and happy New year. I love seeing all the creatures as they go about their daily routine.

@ Kel, Yes a quality camera can make all the difference. Someday, I will be able to afford something much better.


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