The weather that day carried a cool humidity failing to camouflage the summer heat. The early morning mist blanketed my nostrils making it hard to breathe. The moon was half full and illuminated our path as my hunting partner and I walked the woods at dawn.
It was the second day of muzzleloader season. While, sitting at what I call “The Tower”, all I could hear was the wait, all the calmness of the woods and my heart beats pumping. One hand fanning away mosquitos resonating in my ears, like sirens racing on a ten second relay race, and the other holding a T/C White Mountain Carbine percussion cap muzzleloader, loaded with a fifty caliber patched round ball, and powered with seventy grains of FFG black powder.
Two nights before that morning, still dressed with work clothes, we managed to tie up two hand made metal ladders to one of the 45-feet high poles of the tower.
Using ratchet straps, we attached the first ladder to the pole and climbed it up to attach the second one on top of the first. One of us pulling the ladder laying facing down flat on the floor, while the other pushed the ladder up and continued attaching ratchets fitting the second ladder into place, while simultaneously coming up the rungs. We threw ourselves on the wooden floor inside the tower, laying on our backs covered in sweat, exhausted, spiting out bugs that attracted to the lights from our caps and our flashlights. The staircase was under construction. However, hunting season was upon us and it wasn’t going to make on time. We needed to find a way to get into “The Tower”, we devised a plan and it worked.
The sky began to break into thin rays of light and sweat covered my forehead. Fog rested on the tree tops and humidity ruled the air. My arm began shaking as soon as I saw two deer approaching us. There they were, Muzzleloader in hand, I aimed at one of them. It was a spike buck, I couldn’t believe how robust, healthy and beautiful all of his muscles looked from up there. Hunting makes my soul feel alive by the pursuit and connection with the earth that it creates within me. I would never take the life of any living creature lightly. I aimed at that buck probably for one minute straight or longer.
I was about to harvest the first deer of life. It had to be perfect. If I was going to harvest that deer, I had to be certain I was going to make a clean shot. The perfect shot. The buck continued moving as I continued aiming and following every single movement with the sights. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I couldn’t even hear the mosquitos anymore. All I could see was my front sight and my target. The buck moved forward and exposed his front legs and body. I took a deep breath and fired my muzzleloader. The buck dropped in his tracks.
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© 2018.The Huntswoman Path. All rights reserved.
© 2018. The Huntswoman Journal. All rights reserved.