I started learning English from my mother, and one of the books that she used in her private language school (located in our own home) was David Draper’s “Lighter English”, which has a series of one page stories that provide the background for grammar and vocabulary studies.
One of the stories is “Appointment in Samarra”, by W. Somerset Maugham. I first read it as a teenager, and it continues to impress me how no one can runaway from fate. I highly recommend that you read it.
Earlier this month I wrote a blog titled “An Unfinished Morning” describing a close encounter with a young whitetail buck, and how I missed an opportunity to bag him in my first outing during this year’s archery season.
But since we cannot kill deer from our TV room recliners, I get going back to Kay Alderman’s property in Bangor, Michigan.
Some weeks ago, my friend Bob Scott came hunting with me. I set under the same pine tree, now with a makeshift burlap blind in front of it and Bob used my tree stand that is located between the center and the big East fields.
By around 11:00 AM we decided to call it a day. It was getting warm and there was nothing moving in the woods. I came to the tree stand and Bob told me he only saw a small “unicorn” deer. Bob then asked me if I intended to hunt from the tree stand and recommended that I rotated in to have both a better view of the two fields and have a more comfortable position on the sit.
Bob is a much more experienced hunter than me, and he has forgotten more about tree stands than I will ever learn, so I gladly accepted his advice.
Last Tuesday night we had a big storm in Southwest Michigan, I thought that game would be moving the next day.
On Wednesday, 26th, I left work early and went hunting. Since I had had no luck from the tree stand in the last several days, I decided to go back to the “pine tree blind”. But then an accident happened. The chair I using ripped apart and sent me to the ground. Luckily pine needles are soft and nothing but my pride was hurt or damaged.
Since this was around 4:00 PM I decided to move to the tree stand, rather that sitting on the wet ground.
I used the next two hours to finish reading the “2012 Deer Hunter’s Almanac”, which includes a chapter on how to hunt cornfields, and since I was surrounded by cornfields it was interesting learning.
At dusk it started drizzling and I thought about going home, but seconds later I noticed movement on the big East field, just of my right side. A nice small book was walking parallel to the tree line where I was sitting.
I got my bow from the hook in the adjoining trunk already with a nocked arrow, and struggled for a couple seconds to engage the release. As I came to full draw I put my 30-yard pin just behind the buck’s left shoulder and before he could get out of sight I let the arrow fly.
There was a solid slap when the arrow connected and the buck jumped kicking back with his hind legs, before he went on a dead run between the corn rolls.
Based on experience from past painful mistakes, I decided to give him time. I lowered my gear from the stand, came down, and slowly moved to the point I had shot him. In seconds I located blood all over the corn stalks.
I came back to the stand, removed my safety harness, stowed away the “tree stand gear” that I always leave in a closed bucket hooked to the stand gear line and decided to kill some more time.
In another 15 minutes or so I started tracking the buck. I really could not see any tracks, but there was a lot of blood sprayed in the corn stalks. Since I could see that he was marking two corn rolls, I was confident that the arrow that gone completely through him.
He run may 120 yards after being shot and I found him lying over his left side with a corn leaf on his mouth, which reminded me of the cecular European tradition of honoring the game. The arrow had entered towards the back of the left ribs, passed through left ling and heart and came out between the chest and the right shoulder. He turned out to be a six-pointer.
By the time I dragged him back to my car, parked three quarters of a mile away, I guarantee that he weighted at least two and a half tons.
I am really sure that he was the same deer that I missed the opportunity on the first day out. You will be able to relate to this once you have read “Appointment in Samarra”.