Four thirty in the morning. The alarm went off and I was wide awake. I was excited. Hunting day!
When I got outside it was still pitch black. The only thing lighting up the sky were the two headlights on the four wheeler rolling up the driveway.
“Scott, are you ready? “ I recognise the voice. It’s Mike. “Yup, I’m ready Mike”. I say nervously.
He passes me the 223 rifle and I jump on the quad behind him. About 5 minutes in, he stops the bike. “What’s wrong? “ I ask. “Nothing, just look up there on that ridge” he says trying not to laugh.
I look up following the direction that Mike is pointing. Three stags up on the hill. I know that they are trophy stags because of the antlers. They all had at least twelve points.
I grab a 233 bullet out of my bullet holder. Then I grabbed the metal bolt, lifted it up and then slid it back. I injected the bullet into the barrel and grabbed the bolt once again, slid it back down and pulled it down so it locks into place. I put my eye to the scope and line up the biggest stag on the ridge.
Suddenly a hand reaches and pulls the gun down. “What are you doing” I ask trying not to yell at him.” “Hold up cowboy, they’re a bit too far away even for a good shot like you “he says. Embarrassed I look down trying not to show how disappointed I was.
By now the sun has risen and it’s starting to warm up. The frost had started to melt and steam is rising from the ground.
“Let’s hop off now “he says with a determined look. “Ok” I say happily and jump off with the loaded 223 slung over my shoulder. I’m keen to follow the stags to get closer for a better shot.
We started to walk. Thirty minutes with blackberry scratching my legs I’m starting to wonder whether it’s worth it. Then suddenly something moves quickly out of the scrub. A scared hind bolted past us leaving her spotted little fallow fawn lying in the grass. We left it alone so that the mother would come back to it.
More walking and we came to a sharp point on a hill. Then I saw it. A hind and it was close enough to shoot! I checked to see if it had a fawn with it. It didn’t! I could take a shot. I flicked off the safety, lined up the scope with the hind right in the centre. I squeezed the trigger and there was a whoosh as the bullet left the chamber. The hind dropped to the ground.
“Good shot!” says Mike. I felt relief sweep over me followed by frustration. Now I have to carry it home!