Written by Sierra Bullets Ballistic Technician Duane Siercks
Well, it is hunting time again. This is the time that all hunters prepare for and work for. I certainly am proud to be part of this group of people. I have had many wonderful hunting experiences in the 50 some years that I have been a participant. Some very treasured memories of hunting with my wife and daughters and a few friends are often reflected upon. Many stories and experiences have been shared while enjoying a good cup of coffee on times spent with family and friends. These are as much a part of the hunting experience as the actual hunt itself. I would like to share a hunting trip with our readers that just took place.
Sometime back, probably in late May or early June, I was visiting with a good friend of mine when I happened to mention that I had a considerable amount of vacation time that I needed to do something with. He promptly figured that I should accompany him on a few days of deer hunting. Of course he lives out-of-state. He also lives back east instead of west. Most of the time when anyone talks about going out-of-state to hunt, it is almost without question that they are going west. Well now…. I waited about as long as it took to write this sentence before I told him “YES!” Immediately plans were made and preparations started.
My friend, Wayne, lives in North Carolina. He is a very devoted hunter with considerable experience. He also loves to experiment with his hunting firearms and is quite an avid reloader. As time grew closer to the anticipated hunt, we conversed numerous times about rifles, loads, expectations, and so forth. We might have even shared an old hunting story or two. He also kept whetting my desire to make the trip and get in the woods.
When the time arrived and the drive was made, I arrived at Wayne’s house. We visited for a good portion of that night before finally giving up and going to sleep. I want to express my “Thanks” to Wayne’s wife Kathy for all of her hospitality and all the wonderful meals she prepared for us.
Now for the hunt. We arrived in North Carolina on the very heels of Hurricane Matthew. The weather was very warm in the 70’s and 80’s for highs and 60’s for night time temperatures. We were also experiencing two other factors that make deer hunting very tough. We were under a full moon and the acorn crop was dropping profusely. Almost all deer seen were at very first hint of daylight or the last seconds before darkness. That means getting into your stands very early and staying very late.
There were five of us hunting out of the camp. Three were regulars including Wayne and his two partners, Jerry and Benny. There was another guest, Reggie, and then myself. We did enjoy a lot of visiting, and Reggie was quite an accomplished chef. He prepared a couple of meals from fresh venison that were very tasty.
The first morning started out as normal while waiting for daylight. Settle into the stand and acquaint yourself with the sounds and movements of the little critters around you as daylight slowly approaches. As you can start making out objects such as trees and bushes, you start expecting to see movement or deer as they magically appear. I was watching a powerline right-of-way. As I was intently keeping watch, I saw what almost looked look an apparition or ghost of an object on the hillside to my left. My first thought was “that object wasn’t there before.” Easing my Savage 10 MLII up and acquiring the object in my scope, I saw not one, but three does easing across the powerline. I immediately settled the crosshairs upon the doe in the lead and touched off a shot. Knowing the deer was hit hard, I set about reloading my muzzle-loader. This was to be the only shot I fired on this trip. I was very happy to have harvested a fine North Carolina deer.
Others in the group also began to fill their tags as time passed. With each animal harvested, we would immediately skin and quarter them to get them into coolers loaded with ice. With the very warm temperatures, it was imperative to prevent spoiling.
Time passed very quickly. All too soon it was time to pack and head back to Missouri. It was a memorable time and a great bunch of fellows to hunt with. So, if ever again I get the opportunity to “Go East Ol’ Man,” I will certainly go east………..