The camp gate is a welcome sight for your road-weary eyes. Pulling up to the main house, you throw the truck into park and step out. You can’t believe that a year has passed. Everything looks exactly the same, just as you remembered it. South Texas deer camp.
The fellas have already arrived. Who will land their whitetail deer this year? Matt and Dave are still unloading their hunting gear, but Rich is off in the distance, ambling about with his beloved dog. You take a minute to shake hands and bust chops, but then you get to work—there will be plenty of time to relax later.
Dinner over and bellies full, the boys lounge in the red glow of the still-hot coals. They tell tales and reminisce while sipping amber drinks from old mason jars. Coyotes howl in the distance as the crisp winter air bites exposed flesh. The boys sit for a while longer before bidding farewell to the first glorious day.
You're counting whitetail deer, not sheep as you finally fall to sleep.
You rise early the next morning. You’ll have to get a move on if you want to be in the blind before dawn. Rich and Dave are still gathering their gear, but Matt is already making his way toward his blind. Thanks to your prep work the prior day, you don’t need to do much: Get dressed, grab your gear and choke down some coffee on the way out the door. An hour later, you are settled into the blind, bow in hand and binoculars dangling from your neck. You are ready. All you need is a south Texas whitetail deer.
No need to wait long. You spot three does along the tree line, nervously scanning the clearing in front of your blind. You watch as they grow confident enough to emerge from the forest and begin feeding on what green vegetation still carpets the December ground. You aren’t here for them, but you get lost in their beauty for a moment.
A twitch of movement snaps you back to reality. There he is. The quintessential south Texas whitetail deer. Your buck.
Although he’s careful while emerging from the scrub, there is nothing timid about his body language. This is his home. You are the visitor in this incredible south Texas wilderness. Standing stoically, he taunts you from sixty yards. You’d pass up the shot before you’d risk wounding him, so you have to remain patient. You need him to cut that distance in half for a high-percentage shot. You’ve waited an entire year for this moment. So you can wait a few minutes more.
You knock an arrow and engage your trigger release. The buck creeps closer. You count down the distance in your head—fifty yards, forty-five, forty. The wind’s in your face. He still hasn’t caught your scent. Just five more yards—that’s all you need. After stopping to sample a young sapling, he obliges. You draw back your bow. Placing the glowing sight below his shoulder blade, you take a mental snapshot of the moment. This is it.
You squeeze the release and let your arrow fly...
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