Thanks everyone! Just glad I finally got one. The Story.
Not sure if everyone remembers the story from last year, but my Dad finally, after 40 years or so, inherited his Dad's gun. I never met my Grandfather on that side, he died before I was born. But my Dad says I would have loved him, he was a hunter and outdoorsman from Southwest Pennsylvania.
My Dad decided to take his first ever deer with that gun. It's a Model 71 Winchester .348, a big gun. Last year, he got a great 8 point, 163 lbs, an hour into the season, and when we left, he handed me the gun and said it was mine. I couldn't be happier, and being a sentimentalist at heart, I wanted to kill a deer with that gun. Even if it handicapped me because of no scope, and it had been 12. I was ready to use a cannon.....
Last quick thing, both the last times I was home to hunt, 2008 and last year, Dad offered me his stand. I said no, he could take it. So he proceeded to shoot a nice 8 point each time an hour into the season. I told him after last year I was taking his stand this time.
So Saturday morning was perfect. Little to no breeze, and a nice 28-29 degrees. Saw the typical wildlife I have become accustomed to, squirrels, partridge, birds, and even saw my first while in the woods in 20 years or so coyote trot by. Coulda shot him, but I can't bring myself to kill anything I am not going to eat. Just a moral thing, I guess. So he walked. At just before 9, I had 6 does walk by me in a parade. I stayed some hoping a buck was following, but none came.
Sunday morning, another great morning. Watched the squirrels for an hour, then I heard movement where the does came from. It was a lone deer eating some briar leaves about 40 yards away. I saw some horn right away, but thought my eyes were deceiving me. I picked up the binos, saw a fork, knew it was legal, and put the binos down. He ate a little more, then committed a little more towards me than the does had. Quick funny note....... Of the 3 bucks I have shot before, 2 were so close, I couldn't move, and had to slide the gun up and shoot left handed. Well, this deer came from the right direction, and was walking more or less right at me, so I didn't want to risk much movement. He moved to behind the tree, and I waited for the shooting lane. He moved, I bleated, I shot, he bucked. Surprised this little guy ran 75 yards with a .348 sized hole in his heart.
Well, I'm more than happy. Took my first deer in 12 years, in my Dad's stand, with him a few hundred yards away, and with my grandfather's gun. Biggest # of points on any of my bucks, but smallest deer. I will explain that little tidbit later.
Good luck everyone hunting the next few days. Also, most importantly, Happy Verteran's Day to all who do or have served, and thanks for doing so!!! I will catch up more on Wednesday when I get back.