This story starts up with my second year of big game hunting where the first one left off. After my success with the button buck in my first year I couldn't wait for the next season to begin. I practiced hard all summer to boost my accuracy with my bow on an old stack of hay bales all the way out to 30 yards. This time I was able to walk to my tree stand from my dad's work in about 15 minutes, so it was much easier to hunt frequently. The spot was not as good but there were definately a few deer using the trail I sat up on. After the first week of waiting with no deer I was finally rewarded with a nice spike buck sneaking through the woods. But as before I got over excited and spooked the little guy away into the brush and foolishly tried to sneak an arrow through the branches. A very wide miss resulted.
Although frustrated by what I thought might be my only chance for the year I was faithfully out there again as often as possible for the next couple of weeks after school. Finally my patience paid off when a nice fat doe came cluelessly walking in just before dark and offered me a perfect 20 yard shot. One hour later with an easy tracking job with flashlights the prize was mine and another great story to tell at school in the morning. At this time nobody I knew had even taken their first deer yet, so I was pretty popular with the other guys.
A month later found me sitting in another spot with my grandpa's old .30wcf when my dad finally agreed to let me rifle hunt also for the first time. I think he was starting to realize that the hunting bug was stronger in me than in most of our other family members. Luck was with me and only 30 minutes into my opening day hunt another doe walked out into the corn field edge I was watching. With the rifle I was much better and placed 2 quick shots through her chest at 50 yards before she had time to fall from the first one. I didn't get a picture of this deer but the memory is still very clear and sharp in my mind to this day.
My last big game opportunity for the year was when I once again somehow talked my dad into letting me take my new to me but used 30-06 on a family vacation and stopped at the Tioga hunting preserve in Pennsylvania. At that time and age I didn't realize what a preserve was but I'm still very happy my dad supported me and let me do the "hunt" as it was a big confidence booster for me. After 2 hours out walking around I made a perfect shot on a ram at 50 yards and brought to an end what was for me the best hunting year of my life.
I think I was starting to realize already that I had found the one passion that would drive me for the rest of my life.