By Vincent J. Prybeck
To-the-point New Yorker has enough go for one more season.
Nov. 17, 2018, Upstate New York.
A Catskill Mountain deer season starts. Snow fell 24 hours earlier. Cloudy, windless, good snow, 28 degrees. In darkness, we hike uphill. With John settled, I head farther uphill. At 2,100 feet, I climb the ladder. Now wait.
Season 48 now. How many do I have left? One can’t hunt if weak. I’m fit, but far from my prime. I focus on shedding weight, on equipment and myself. The mountains keep getting steeper. Keep exercising.
Daylight, then legal time. It’s quiet. Nothing moves for two hours. A shot to the south stirs me. A kill? Half an hour later, a shot far east. Coyote? Not long after, a closer shot to the north, then another follows. A miss? I look for movement, Kimber Montana in hand, a 7mm-08 chambered.
Movement. Binoculars identify a shooter! It’s running. I mouth a bleat to stop it. My scope finds the heart. I shoot once.
Photos follow. It sports only my hit. I gut, drag and hang it. Nice 8 point. Good mass. Goes 160 dressed, maybe 200 alive. My biggest yet. I still have enough in me. God willing, next year I will, too.
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