This past weekend I was invited to serve as a guide for a special hunt being conducted on behalf of a group of disabled veterans here in Hernando County. I had the privilege of guiding a US Marine, Mister Terry Lynn who drove all the way up from Wachula, to hunt. I arrived at the property Friday morning and began scouting to locate a site I really liked. I tell ya, I have never been on a single property in Florida with more deer.
The blind site I selected was on a north facing slope looking down a fairly open ridge overlooking a small cluster of oaks with seven different active scrapes beneath their overhanging limbs. There were a lot of small pines in the area which had been just destroyed with whitetail rubs. That overwhelming buck sign was all I needed to see. So I claimed the location and returned to the camp to meet the hunter, Mister Lynn, whom I’d been paired with.
We met up and before heading out to the blind, our hunt directors wanted us to spend a minute on the rifle range to ensure there were no issues with the sights on his rifle. No problems there, so we headed out. Now our hosts had asked that we limit our harvests to a single buck with three or more points per side and a single doe for the weekend. Within an hour of sitting in our blind the first deer arrived, a cowhorn spike. We watched him for a time until another buck walked in, a younger spike, which worked at a scrape in front of us, soon two does entered the field of fire and my new friend Terry, put his years of Marine marksmanship to good use on the largest of the two does.
We were hyped up with adrenaline and really excited about such great luck; to have scored a deer on our first sitting of the weekend. I told Terry to go to the site of the hit to begin trailing and I was going to go retrieve our ATV and join him. But, as soon as he stood up from his chair in the blind, I saw antlers heading right towards us through the dog fennel and brush. I sat him back down and seconds later the big seven point turned and stood broadside to our blind at approximately thirty-five yards and Terry leveled his rifle and shot the biggest buck of his hunting career!
That buck arrived less than a minute after the first rifle shot, completely unconcerned about the sound. He was so focused on rutting and checking his scrapeline that he had let his guard down completely. I called the hunt director, Dawn Crouch of Dade City, and reported our success and she sent her husband, and assistant director Danny, to lend us a hand.
It was a great hunt and even better, I gained a new friend. I can’t wait until next year when once again I expect to be invited to rejoin this group of real American heroes! As always, if you have any comments, questions or just want to share your success from the woods, give me a shout out at [email protected]. God Bless, Good Hunting and Happy Thanksgiving!