Sue and Hugh had invited me to hunt their 50 acres over in Grant County, Kentucky. The place consisted of a few acres of bottom land, a creek, and a ridgetop with an abandoned farm on it. I had been having good success hunting near the old family cemetery up on top of the ridge-a lot of sightings, but nothing worth putting an arrow into. When rifle season came, Hugh suggested I take a post on the hillside overlooking the creek.
Opening morning found me in sight of the back of their trailer, about half-way up the hill. I found a small erosion gully in which I could hunker down at the edge of a line of cedars. The gully was bone dry, and offered me complete concealment from anything coming to my sides and a clear shot at anything coming down the creek. The light came up. The shooting started-- about one shot per minute. It was cold, but I had a thermos of Espresso coffee to keep me warm.
Nothing. I sucked down a cup of coffee. Nothing. I sucked down another cup of coffee. After about 8 AM, the shooting stopped. Nothing. The sun came out here and there, but mostly it was cloudy.
Along about 10 AM, that coffee started to work on me. I had resolved to stay put until dinner time, but that was quickly becoming impossible. It was time for a break. I wandered out of my hole in the ground and started looking for a likely spot a few yards down wind of my location. I had a lot of layers on, and I felt like kid in a snowsuit. I put my rifle down and went to work.
I had placed my rifle across a stump. It was a Remington 742 in '06. I'd taken boar with it, but I was still looking for deer. After I was all zipped back up, I looked around and realized the stump offered as good a spot as the gully. Besides, it was going to be a bit warmer sitting on a stump than on the cold rocks. I sat down, put the rifle across my knees, pointing up the hill. Ah! This was the life-a man, his rifle, and a crisp November morning.
I had taken the rifle out the week before to my club to run a few rounds through it. I had recently scored a bunch of Musgrave 180grain round-nosed stuff. It was cheap-real cheap, but it shot through the 742 quite accurately, and without the recoil of the handloads my buddy had made me. After the switch back from Daylight Savings Time, it gets dark mighty early in Ohio. Rather than waste time waiting for a ceasefire and walking out, I'd cranked my scope all the way down to 9X to see where I was hitting the target. The Musgrave had been remarkably good fodder, and since it was getting dark, I decided to just leave everything as it was and not try any of the handloads, or the Remington Express I had brought along. The one thing I had forgotten to do was to crank the scope back to a reasonable power before leaving.
While I'd been getting my coat zipped back up, I had noticed the grunt call around my neck. I had forgotten it. This was something brand new to me. In those days grunt calls were the new "IN" thing. I had never tried a grunt call before. Maybe my luck would change.
I waited a few seconds
Nothing. Oh well, it had only cost a few bucks. I remember letting go of the call and shifting a bit on the stump to look down into the creek.
There was a sound behind me that sounded like horses in a Western movie. I looked back over my shoulder. There was a large number of deer directly behind me, emerging from the wall of young cedars, less than 10 yards up the hill from my stump. I have no idea how many, but it was a lot.
Deer were running every which way. Some ran behind me, some ran in front. The ones that I was worried about were coming straight for my stump. When the stampede was over, I found a hoof print neatly centered between my boots. In the middle of the melee, I looked for some antlers in all this, and finally spotted a young buck-maybe a 4 or 6 pointer. He had come past me and was down the hill less than thirty yards away. I stood, swung the rifle over, and attempted to acquire him in the scope.
Drat. It was still on 9-Power. All I saw was a patch of hair, above a leg. I remember a blur in the lens as I touched it off.
A doe had slipped between me and the buck at a distance of about 10 feet. She had been running away from me, and I caught her in the rump just to the right of her tail. I still have this vision of the bullet exiting in slow motion from between her shoulder blades. She crumpled and landed near the bottom of the creek.
I got up and ran over to her. By this time, all the other deer had left. She passed on quietly while I knelt beside her, apologizing for the mistake.
Hugh had come in early with no luck. He helped me get her out, and introduced me to the mysteries of gutting. Sue came in and fixed us all a meal of chicken fried venison steaks.
So there you have it. Shaman was ambushed by an angry herd of deer while taking a leak, and managed to fight them off by shooting a buck and turning it into a Texas Heart Shot on a doe. It's my story, and I am sticking with it.