After passing up numerous deer on the side of the freeway, I finally made it to my happy hunting grounds. While I had identified several farms where I could hunt in the Pomeroy area, I really hadn't put boots on the ground prior to the season. So, when I spotted a few deer on a hill side, I figured that was as good a place as any to get out and start walking. Figured if I saw three deer, there might be another few I couldn't see...and there were! Half-an-hour of tromping through waist high, bone dry grass convinced me I wasn't going to be able to work any closer than 150-200 yards away from them.
I ended up walking a big 1.5 mile loop, and spooked several more deer. There is little more demoralizing as a hunter than seeing a mule deers white ass 'sproinging' away in that way that only a mule deer can hop.
With a lot of ground to cover, I got back in my truck and moved to another farm, and after walking in, I found a promising looking draw I decided to keep an eye on for a while, because it looked like 'deer country.'
What I was trying to zoom in(really, I was just looking for an excuse to play with my phone...it can zoom!) on were two bucks that confirmed my instincts were valid. About 20 minutes after I sat down, they popped over the top of the hill and worked their way down into the thick brush at the top of the ravine, where they promptly bedded down.
I waited an hour for them to pop out down below, and finally decided I was going to have to go in after them. The wind was blowing pretty stiffly right into my face, and for the most part, it was pretty easy walking through a freshly harvested wheat field.
For a while, I looked and acted like a real hunter. I shimmied in between the 3rd and 4th strands of a barb-wire fence(I had permission to be on the land, the guy just had a few fences running across the property). About half-way there, I dropped off my back-pack so I could start serious crouching approach. When I got about 40 yards away from where I thought the bucks where, I eased up to get my bearings, and as I did that, both bucks jumped up. Both were legal, with the bigger one being a 4 or 5 pointer. I brought the rifle to my shoulder, and promptly forgot EVERYTHING I ever learned about being a shooter.
I was looking at the bigger buck while I had the rifle pointed at the smaller, but closer, buck. I didn't pause half a second to hold my breath. I jerked the trigger instead smoothly pulling it. And I flat out missed. The deer was quartering away. It wasn't an easy shot, but you didn't have to be Annie Oakley either.
After doing everything else right, I was very depressed...and even more so because I then spent the next hour walking around in a circle to see if I could find any sign that I HAD hit the buck. It was then a much longer walk back to my truck than it had been walking away from it in the morning.