It was an unusually warm fall afternoon in Central Mass with temps approaching 80 degrees! So knowing my daughter Nicole would be comfortable, I asked if she wanted to go hunting with my friend Eric and me. She wasn't sure what she wanted to do but decided she would come with us. We started getting ready by picking out camo, snacks, drinks, rattling antlers, etc. While we were getting ready, Eric showed up and we loaded up the bows and arrows and gear. Nicole sounded excited that she was coming with us and, as it turned out, she had a day she will never forget!
When we got to our hunting spot we checked out some large deer tracks cutting through the plot of land the owner had just treed and stumped. We got our gear together and Eric headed down below to his tree stand and Nicole and I headed up through the apple orchard to the new double ladder stand Eric and I had put up earlier this year. We got to the stand and found the seat to be soaking wet from the heavy rains the night before, so I laid my waterproof camo coat on it (which I didn't need due to the warm temps) and put Nicole's coat behind her back, making it comfy for her. We weren't there very long when Nicole started snacking, and I described the spot where I saw a six-pointer and a three-pointer a few days earlier and the eight-pointer I shot right after the Halloween snow storm last year.
The foliage was just about at peak and the wind was blowing a little, bringing down bright yellow and orange leaves, which were carpeting the forest floor beautifully. As we sat and whispered to each other about different things, I looked over Nicole's left shoulder and saw a deer coming our way! I said "Nicole, a deer ... it's a doe." It took her a few seconds to see it as it made its way slowly toward us. She said it's a spikey! Then I noticed the antlers as he was browsing along heading right towards us. It was the three-pointer I saw the other day. I stood up and slowly got my bow ready to take a shot. Nicole started getting the nervous giggles, I was hoping he wasn't going to notice as he was now passing behind us at approximately 10 yards. When he went behind a tree I drew my bow back and waited, he stepped out and I put the pin behind his shoulder and released, the arrow found its mark and made a complete pass through! He quickly ran about 25 feet and stopped to see what just happened, then bolted around the right side of the stand and stopped about 10 yards in front of us and expired!
We were both so excited we had a hard time texting Eric and calling Mom as our adrenaline was still pumping. This is a hunt we will both cherish for a very long time!