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No Kill Year

By Greg Burns

The 2015 deer hunting season was vastly approaching and my friends and family were getting ready to the big day, opening day. I was getting ready for archery season with my Bear compound bow; practicing more and more each day. Trying out new Beaman arrows and loving it. My boys had been at me the entire year about getting them a rifle, so I had been looking, but wasn’t able to find anything. A week before season hit Academy had a single shot 243 Rossi on sale, I grabbed it up and it was on now. The boys had their new rifle, I was all smiles. The boys didn’t know that I was getting them a rifle for the upcoming season, which made coming back home seem like 2 minutes. I walked in the door and all I heard was what is that dad, let me see, ah man it's a rifle, is that for us!? I looked at my wife, smiled and said yes boys this is your new rifle. They were so excited, jumping around taking turns holding it like they were shooting a big buck. We began practicing and making sure the rifle was sighted in properly and that the boys were able to hold it. The little ones weren’t quite ready for it yet, but the 13 year old and 16 year old was ready to go. The season was approaching fast and I was getting ready for archery season.

Now it is October 2015 and my deer season, or should I say my obsession had begun once again. I was so obsessed with getting a deer every year, and shooting at least 1 more each year than the year before. Archer season left me without seeing a deer once again, but I was kay with that, kind of disappointed but fine nevertheless. I decided that since I didn’t see a deer during archery season that rifle season was going to be it, I will hunt hard as much as I can. I purchased a new blend of food plot from a local vendor that has fertilizer mixed in. I wasn’t able to put my plot out this year because it was so dry the ground was cracking in some places. I was able to get my cameras out and even bought a new wild game innovations 6mp camera. Love this camera; I was able to get great pictures of the deer moving in the location.

Youth season had arrived. Here in Texas is comes twice a season, 2 day between archery season and regular season. My 13 year old was ready to try out the new Rossi .243 rifle. We got up early and made our way to the stand. I had set up a great spot on the ground under the big oak tree where I shot Zeus a couple of years before and had seen a few good young bucks running through. It was a little drizzly that morning and we didn’t think we would be able to go out. The rain finally let up and we went any way. We sat for about an hour when we heard a doe behind us blow, so I blew back just like she did. She blew again, I blew again. The it got quiet for a few minutes; all of a sudden she popped out the woods in the perfect spot where we were facing. I started getting shaking when I realized I’m not shooting, my son is. I asked him if he wanted to take her, he said "NO I WANT A BUCK!" I asked are you sure, he said "YES, I WANT A BUCK!"

Okay we'll wait for a buck. Well nothing else came out that morning, so I wanted to show him the spot our aunt had at our stock pond. No sooner than we get the pond and there he is standing right in front of her blind, the big 10 that she had been telling us about. He looks at us, I whisper yell get your gun, as he runs into the woods, but not before he turns to give us one more look as to say here boys take a good look at what you want get today. You talking about breathing hard and shaking, we both were. We walk around a little bit; I wanted to show Nick where papa’s stand was. We begin to walk down the road in the field and who pops out on that side, but that big 10! He runs off and we are shaking again with big smiles on our faces, like we just won the jackpot millions. All we could say was oh man did you see that! We go to my parents’ house and Nick starts to tell them what happen, he could hardly contain himself, he was so excited. We headed out the next day and saw nothing; it was raining pretty hard that day.

November 2015 had arrived; with all of my anticipation I was able to sleep at all anxious with anticipation. I made sure all of my gear was washed and ready to go for opening day. When my alarm went off I jumped straight up out of bed running, I overslept my alarm and now it was 7am instead of 5 am, I was late, very late. Running through the house getting dressed and tying to be as quiet as possible. Once I made it to the stand it was 7:30 am and I was breathing so hard the birds were looking at me get in the stand. I didn’t see a buck that day, but did see anything this morning. Later that day I was running late when I made to my stand by 4:30 pm. I got in the stand and as soon as I got settled, I began to call by hitting the Black Rack together and grunting. It wasn’t 10 minutes when a nice little buck came out of nowhere about 35 yards out.

He was lucky he was big enough are he would have been in the freezer. It wasn’t 5 minutes after him and another buck came out of the woods in the same spot, I took aim, pulled the trigger and …. I missed. He ran in the woods and that went my hunt. I was so dejected, but it was just opening day. For the next few weeks I wasn’t able to hunt much only 3 more times and in those times I only say little does and even smaller bucks. It was beginning to look like I wasn’t going to get a deer this year, after getting at least one every year for the past 4 years. I guess it was time for me to go without, which was okay after seeing that big 10. I got word that my cousin had a run it with that big 10 in the same area and missed him. I decide to put a Wildgame Innovations 6mp camera out in that area, looked like he was staying around there a lot. I picked up my camera after The New Year this year and guess who is on camera in November walking right in front of the camera that big 10. That is how my year ended with a no kill year. Team CBW with a big 0.