Larry's Short Stories

The Christmas Day Buck

The Christmas Day Buck was actually a nine-pointer.
The Christmas Day Buck was actually a nine-pointer.

The weather was decent, 40 degrees or so and overcast – but no rain. Christmas festivities would be wrapping up after a late lunch, so it seemed like a good time to go deer hunting.
Regular season was wonderful, with many pleasant mornings and afternoons in the blind – watching deer and turkeys. I passed a tall, old eight pointer two or three times but had decided it would be ok to shoot him on the last day. Unfortunately, I waited in vain. My buck tag was still unfilled from the eleven-day rifle season, which had ended back in November, and alternative weapons season was just getting started – Christmas afternoon seemed like a perfect opportunity to hunt for a few hours.
Thirty or forty turkeys busted from the field, when I arrived at 3:15 and climbed into the blind. For the next hour there was nothing; then slowly, several does and fawns fed out of the woods. After 30 minutes or so, one of the does got about 20 yards downwind, picked up my scent and was gone. Nine others followed her into the woods. It was now 4:54, with only 29 minutes left in the
day’s hunt.
At 5:12, the field

I’m a pretty traditional black powder hunter, preferring open sights, cap and ball.  The Browning JBMR in 54 caliber is on half cock.
I’m a pretty traditional black powder hunter, preferring open sights, cap and ball. The Browning JBMR in 54 caliber is on half cock.

was empty and for some reason, I decided to button things down and leave early. As I slowly opened the blind door, I noticed a doe and what looked like the tall eight pointer, about 80 yards to the south. Back in the blind, I quickly looked at him through the binoculars as he walked my direction; yes, this was the buck I was
looking for.
Carefully and quietly I got the window open, and grabbed my rifle. By now the buck was standing broadside at 40 yards — looking at the blind, then back at the doe. He certainly heard me bring the hammer to full cock and then set the trigger, as he looked directly at me both times. Finally he looked away, likely my only opportunity as shooting light was quickly fading. Raising the muzzle over his back, I could just see the sight – then lowered it to what seemed about right and touched the trigger. The smoke covered everything for a moment, then I saw him running back into the brush where he stopped and looked back at the blind. It was an anxious five seconds, then he fell over. The Christmas Day Buck was down.

By this time of year, the turnips are really big (My Zeiss 10x40 binoculars for comparison) and the deer are beginning to feed on them.
By this time of year, the turnips are really big (My Zeiss 10x40 binoculars for comparison) and the deer are beginning to feed on them.
Larry's Short Stories