My Hunting Trip – First Place, Junior Writing
The mercury dropped so fast, it bent the nail the thermometer
was hanging on. It was cold!
“Let’s go, we’re burning daylight!” my Dad hollered.
It was a brutal cold evening in December 2006. It was the second
half of the Illinois firearms deer season. Our luck was running
low and our time running out.
My dad and I were heading for our deer stand. It was probably
the coldest day of the year, in the worst ice storm that southern
Illinois has had in years. It was as if we were walking on broken
glass; ice was everywhere and there was no quiet way to get
We climbed into our deer stand that my dad, grandpa and I had
built to overlook a pasture in my grandpa’s woods. We sat for what
seemed like forever and saw nothing. But thanks to the 8-by-8
platform on our stand we were able to setup our blind with a Buddy
heater in it. We were 16 feet up. We were trying to stay warm
although the mercury hung in the low teens. The surrounding view
was awesome, it was like Christmas lights everywhere as the sun
cast its rays through all the ice. Every limb, twig and strand of
barbwire was coated with ice.
Soon, the sun began to set and the shooting time was running
out. My dad said, “Get your stuff, let’s take a walk back to the
house.” I got my stuff and we headed for the house. We took the
long way along the fencerow with the wind in our favor. We
approached a patch of brush and cover where deer always like to
bed. There was a fallen tree lying in our path, when all of a
sudden dad said, “Cody, you hear that?” and out of the brush came
One stopped in front of my dad at about 30 yards. He raised his
.50-caliber muzzleloader, picked her out in the scope and the shot
The woods opened up, she jumps the fence and down she goes in
the field. The other two go busting across the path and this
monster buck comes hauling across the pasture like he was headed
for the next county.
We crossed the fence to make sure we got the doe and went back
to my grandpa and grandma’s house to get their tractor. I was so
cold I had to stay in the house to warm up. Meanwhile, dad and
grandpa went to the woods to get the doe in the field.
When I saw them coming out of the woods into the yard, I went
back out with a knife and gut hook so we could field- dress the
Dad let me help but I was sure glad to get my gloves back on. We
weighed her on our deer scale; she weighed in at 105 pounds – not
We loaded her in the back of our trusty ole’ Chevy and headed to
Prairie du Rocher to check it in for the deer contest.
This was one of my “out of the world” hunting experiences with
my dad, but trust me . . . there are many more to come.