Attached is a picture of a deer I have seen on my way to work every day for the past
I grew up knowing that if I asked someone nicely, I could hunt or fish on their property.
One deer season many years ago, I was driving home from a morning hunt when I spotted
a nice buck and several does about 200 yards into a field. I took the next gravel
road off the highway and knocked on the door of the first house I came to. An older
lady and her son answered the door. I told them about the deer I had spotted
and asked if I could go in after him. They said go ahead, but watch out for the cattle
back there. I drove back toward the highway, parked in a field entrance, grabbed my
rifle and started sneaking back toward the area where the deer had been. I was about
2 or 3 hundred yards from the truck when I spotted white flags bouncing over a hilltop.
I thought I had lost my chance but something caught my eye, antlers. The buck was
still standing but I could only see his head and antlers when he raised them to check
the situation. I could get no closer than I was, and a head shot was all I had.
I was prone and had a good steady rest with my .270 and took the shot. He was out
of sight, but I couldn’t tell if he ran or was down. After walking to the sight I
fount that he was not just beyond a ridge, but standing at the edge of a washout.
He was now laying in the bottom of a steep muddy gully. I grabbed his antlers to take
a look and he came back to life. I jumped back and the buck began lungeing like a
horse does when it tries to get up. After several tries I thought he was going to
get up so I shot him again, and that killed him quickly.
After checking him out I found the first shot had left a bare streak up the flat spot
on his head, right between the antlers. It had knocked him out. It was quite a chore
to get him up out of that gully.I took the deer back to the landowners house to show
them and thank them, and they were more excited than I was. The old woman was acting
like a kid that had just taken the deer herself. Just before Christmas that year I
dropped by their house and gave them some sticks of summer sausage and the excitement
started all over again.
That was a long time ago, and I bet there are very few folks that would let a complete
stranger hunt like that anymore. The grandkids inherit the farm, don’t know how to
run it or are just too lazy, and they sell it to hunting clubs.This “business” of
hunting leases, and landowners becoming more concerned about liability is going to
be the death of hunting as I know it, and it is a crying shame. I live in the country
but do not own enough land to hunt.
Fortunatly, I have good relations with some neighbors that own lots of good hunting
ground. They let me hunt, and I keep and eye on their ground, clean up the trees that
fall into the fields after high winds or ice, and give them some deer meat. No money
ever changes hands, and thats the way it should be.
A long-time D&DH reader from northwest Missouri