I almost never write hunting stories. I’m bored by most, and with few exceptions can’t stand the “hunting” TV shows. But, it’s my turn to bore you with one. Hunted Cave Mountain near Petersburg, W.Va. a few weeks ago. Dick and Jane Sites own and run it in a highly dedicated manner. Everything was first class. Great lodge at 2,700 feet with a really good view. Got that out of the way pretty quick.
Blinds are permanent, big, comfortable, clean windows and through experience, located in the right places. Up in the morning but not too early; just enough time for a coffee, snack and into the blind by jeep a little before daylight. Hate getting there two hours before daylight.
First morning, Jane (my Jane; not Dick’s) diligently watched and waited. Clear, chilly but comfortable. About 8 o’clock antler tips went past my window at about 10 to 15 feet. Probably a shooter but couldn’t see the rack all that well. Saw one other guy, but didn’t shoot. Breakfast was terrific as were all the meals. Got the food out of the way.
Different blind that afternoon. Big raindrops fell thumping on the roof and rattling the leaves. Deer came in to feed in the field in front of us. Biggest was an 11-pointer. I’m terrible at judging how a rack will score but he was a shooter. The fog moved in and that’s my kind of weather. An hour before dark a big eight strutted in all stiff-legged, head upright, hair on his back erect, looking for a fight. He didn’t get one. No one wanted any part of him and I never saw him eat anything. In 30 minutes there was a shot and he froze. Didn’t twitch an ear and probably never blinked for several minutes. Nobody else paid any attention to the shot. Dick picked us up after dark. Had a great dinner, BS’d for a while, hit the bed, and then was up in a really dense fog with light rain. Perfect!
A Deer Or Not?
The blind was on a hillside next to an old logging road. Couple hours later the fog cleared enough to show West Virginia hillsides are really cliffs. Saw a fast moving antler going uphill. Then he was barreling down the logging road at us. Grabbed the gun and went for the opposite window. I could see upward a bit to a heavy antler. Yelled “Stop!” as loud as I could. He applied the brakes stopping broadside to me. I lined upon his shoulder and then looked for his rack — which was completely hidden behind a tree. Gone in two seconds. Really good skid marks where he stopped though. That’s a trick you ought to remember.
Fog and rain stayed and we had a different blind in the afternoon. Lots of pretty, colorful, wet leaves and poor visibility. My kind of day again. Had three 309 JDJ rounds with me. Told Jane I was loading the lucky plated one. One buck came in, then another, but neither were shooters. First one kinda’ froze looking up-cliff. Then suddenly bolted up-cliff. The second one did the same and that was odd. A half-hour before dark Jane let me know someone was coming. A glance showed he was decent. I grabbed the Contender off the sandbag and waited for him to come past but he didn’t. Nothing moved. Suddenly his tail flipped and he bolted up the cliff. That tail was all I saw.
By J.D. Jones
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