by Ron Kempter
My friends and I lease 320 acres in Macon County, Al., called the "No Name Hunt Club." The name came from the fact that we do not know the name of the creek that runs through the property. One of our tree stands is attached to an old water oak that has grown over a strand of barbwire, named "Barbwire." Another 2 man tree stand is located where a logging road crosses the creek named "No Name."
Early Friday morning, January 26, 2007, my friend Gary was in "Barbwire" and I was in "No Name", several hundred yards away. About 8:40 AM, I heard a noise at my 7 o'clock position, and slowly turned to my left to see a deer about 20 yards away in the thick brush. I could not make out the head until I leaned out over the shooting rail, at which time I could see big antlers! I slowly raised the rifle as the deer turned to leave, and had trouble finding the deer in the scope, as it was so close to me. As it slowly walked away, I fired a quartering shot through the thicket. It stumbled and ran through the flood waters of the woods. I heard a loud splash and was sure it had fallen into a puddle. I could not hear another sound!
I dug out my radio to call Gary. I told him I got it, but was not sure how big the buck was. I was pretty sure I knew where it was...maybe 20-30 yards away!
We looked all over the area on both sides of the creek for over an hour, but could not find the deer. I went to get my "Hmm-G" electric golf cart as I was out of breath! We were both pretty well disgusted when Gary said, "I think that's the deer over there, on this side of the creek!" By this time, I had already crossed the shallow running creek several times. As he got there first, I said "How big?"
He said. "10 points!"
While crossing the creek again, the cart hung up on a submerged stump, and would not move! Fortunately, I had a "come-a-long" in the cart, with a 20 foot strap in my toolbox!
That's when the work began!
After attaching the strap to a tree, we began to manually winch the cart free, when the cable in the "come-a-long" broke! That's when I called for help from our friend Walt that was hunting with us, because it looked like it would be a long day!
Gary was able to re-rig the cable and free the "Hmm-G", when Walt returned the cell phone call to say he was on the way. We finally got back to the deer, with me in amazement, and it was not in a puddle!
That's when Walt called to find out just where we were.
I asked Walt to get the carrier for the rear of my cart from the clubhouse, and bring it to the "No Name" stand with his truck, which he did. Gary then carried the carrier from the stand to the cart, some 80 yards away! We got the carrier installed, the deer loaded, and off to the clubhouse we went! But wait, there's more!!
The deer had been shot twice, once by me, through the heart from behind, and in the mouth, which had been bleeding badly...its tongue and lower jaw were missing!
We believe it's the same buck Gary had shot the previous Wednesday, and after looking most of the day, could never be found! The buck was probably severely dehydrated from excessive loss of blood and fluids, and could not have eaten for several days!
It had also lost its right eye, which may have had nothing to do with being shot!
The 10 point antlers are mounted on my den's wall!