It was 5:30 in the morning, I put my hunting gear on and headed out to the stand.

It was freezing, the ground was covered with ice and a thin layer of snow. Every time I took a step the ground crunched underneath my boots, making it impossible to be silent walking in. I stopped a little ways in front of my stand to spray doe-in-estrus on a scent wick I had put out the day before.

I climbed up the ladder of my stand and laid my gun across my lap. I sat there silently and listened to the quiet forest around me. My toes and fingers were numb from the cold air.
I had been sitting there for about an hour when I heard something moving in the woods behind me, I couldn’t tell what it was because it was a ways away. After a couple minutes the movement went away, leaving everything silent again. I decided to spray more doe-in-estrus into the wind and patently waited for something else to come along.

After a half an hour passed I could hear something walking towards me. As it got closer I could tell it was a deer. My heart started beating faster and faster. I hear it coming closer. I started breathing heavy. I lifted the gun up onto the bar in front of me. I heard it grunt. It walked out of the tree line. I saw it was a buck, I pulled the hammer back and lined the scope up onto the deer, he heard me move and looked in my direction, without even thinking I pulled the trigger. The deer jumped and kicked it’s back legs into the air. I frantically tried to put another bullet in, but before I could even get the shell out the deer disappeared into the woods. Not knowing if I even hit it or not I called my dad. He told me to wait for him to get there before I started tracking it. I climbed out of my stand as quickly as I could, and ran over to where I shot it and looked for a blood trail.

My dad showed up 15 minutes later and we headed in the woods to find the deer. There was a lot of blood coming out of the deer but it wouldn’t stop running. As we were following it you could see where it kept laying down. We kept following but we couldn’t catch up, it seemed like it was never going to stop, the deer just kept going even though blood was squirting out of it. I couldn’t believe how far he was going. After tracking it for about two miles we got to a swamp, on the other side the woods started to get really thick and we could hear him moving through ahead of us. Finally after hours of looking for the deer my dad spotted him laying down in front of us still alive, it couldn’t get up again. It was staring at us, I could only see it from the neck up because if was laying behind a log. I lifted my rifle up again and shot him in the neck. He finally died.

Countless hours sitting alone in my stand finally payed off with a 170 pound 8 point buck.