Hunting during Christmas 2002

I had the good fortune of going home for the Holidays this past Christmas. I was very lucky to be able to go hunting with Gabi's father, AC. The second morning after our arrival AC and I went hunting out in the pasture behind their home. I got my trusty 30/30 out of the gun safe because I knew I was going to be in a tree stand that was in some thick woods and I wouldn't need a scope. AC went across to the opposite side of the pasture and was covering the open area with his scoped .308. The morning was fairly uneventful and it felt great to hold onto my rifle and sit in a tree. I had a day of bush hogging in front of me on Susan's tractor and it was looking like a nice day was shaping up. After about an hour in the tree stand I saw a rather large doe at the limit of my vision sneak through the brush very slowly way out of my range. I was hoping she might double back or that a buck might be following. I waited another hour and a half before I decided that it was probably better to just head back and get on the tractor. As I got out of the tree and walked into the middle of the pasture, AC came out of the woods from the opposite side of the pasture and we met in the middle. He asked me if I had seen anything and I began to tell him the story about the doe. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a slight flash of white at the very bottom of the pasture. I looked in that direction but didn't see it again. I told AC I thought something might be down there and he proceeded to take a look through his scope. Sure enough, the buck I had been hoping for before had come around. Being the great father-in-law that AC is he let me take the shot. Keep in mind we were standing in the middle of a very large pasture and the buck was at least 150 yards away. With no support for the rifle and shooting from a crouched position, I must say I was very pleased that I hadn't lost my shooting skills while living in Germany. AC's .308 was sighted in perfectly and the deer dropped right on the spot. The shot was a direct hit to the heart and the buck never felt anything.

Gabi's Mom threw us a welcome home party and I couldn't shut up about my deer I'm sure. My parents made a surprise visit and I took the time to introduce them to all the critters that make there home in the pasture. AC and I had the good fortune of hunting again later during the Holidays, and AC got himself a very nice doe. I have pictures of us skinning and cleaning the doe so if you are squeamish don't scroll all the way to the bottom. Gabi's brother lives near Susan and AC and has a rather large pack of dogs that live with him. Although they are domestic animals, it is amazing to see their instincts come out around fresh meat. The alpha male of the pack, Domino, continuously guarded both deer as we cleaned them. I don't know if there is a much better feeling than eating something you have killed and prepared yourself for Christmas dinner.

My first 8-point buck:

The front part of the pasture mentioned above, with my parents and Charlie:

AC's doe:

Domino getting in on the act:

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