Monday, October 22, 2007

First Blood and shrunken testicles

I killed my first deer on Saturday. A nice doe worth 112 lbs. As Nate says, "strong work."

However, the beast couldn't go quietly into the night, nono. Instead, is sprints down the mountain at breakneck pace. We tried in vain for about 30 minutes to find a blood trail, but to no avail. Then Nate casually says "well let's head down this way. They like to head for water when injured." So he scours the right woods while I take the left trail, which was a bit clearer path. I finally get to bottom where the pond is, and I see something floating in the middle. I'm thinking "uh oh". So I throw a rock near the lump and the ripples cause an ear to bob.

Oh Dear.

So then I hear Nate's boyscout whistle way way way up the hill trying to contact me. We play dueling whistles for a while as I make the epic trek back up the wooded giant to find him. I see him sitting, he says "I think I found the trail." I replied "Good, but unfortunately I think I know where this trail ends." But we follow it anyway, hoping against hope that it's another deer and that mine is toasted on land somewhere. We follow it a good 1/4 of a mile through thickets and brush... all the way back to the pond. He takes one look out there "well...hehe... enjoy."

My duty was obvious. I sent Nate back 1/2 a mile to get our gear and the four-wheeler for transport. Meanwhile I strip and head into the murky water. I take one step in and my worst fears are confirmed... although the day is heating up rapidly, the water is still in the throes of the 50 degree morning. This was gonna hurt...

At first I went slowly, trying to acclimate to the temperature. I'm half numb when the water finally reaches my "critical parts". I then scream. That's when I decided to man up. I lunged out head first into the deeper water and swim as fast as I can trying to build up some body heat. Finally all that summer swimming comes in handy. I finally reach the carcass and grab the ear, pulling as I perform a one-arm backstroke to the land. At long last I reach the clay soil to where I have to stand, and began to pull for all I was worth. The second I had it firmly anchored on the clay edge I sprinted over to my dry clothes and started using my t-shirt to towel off, thus preventing sickness. Luckily I was layered and had the longer shirt (still not real heavy duty, but...). The boxers were soaked too. So, in I go to my camo pants sans undergarments. Then I knocked the clay off my feet while standing on the semi-wet t-shirt. Last on is the shirt. I let out a final primal scream and began jumping around for warmth.

It was definately a memorable way to get #1. Not bad for my initiation as a venison slayer.

Soon there will be feasting...


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