The Hunter

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Uncategorized
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A friend had mentioned that I need to write a story about hunting. This is something I threw together for now, just for fun. I have plans on turning this into a full length novel or maybe just a novella. Anyway, I hope you guys like it. ~ J. A. Cunningam

The Hunter

By: J. A. Cunningham

Adam didn’t think he would ever find himself back in the field. Five years ago when his father had taken him on his first deer hunt, his dad stood up to point out the path the deer would travel. As he turned to point, he had lost his footing falling out of the tree stand fifteen feet to the ground. His head had hit the ground first bending his neck in such an angle it snapped. It had all happened so quick Adam didn’t have time to react. That was the worst day in Adams life.

The accident had turned his life upside down. At the age of thirteen it had effected his school life, home life, and social life. Adam spent the next four years living like a hermit. His mom worried about him constantly, forcing him to seek counseling. The counseling was not helping, Adam never said much. The counselor had told Adams mother, if she wanted to keep paying him to babysit a teenager then by all means keep bringing him. Until he was ready to be helped, there was nothing else he could do. That was Adams last visit.

Now five years later Adam had been going through his dads stuff in the shed. Adam and his mother had been putting it off, but now they were moving and it had to be done. Adam pulled a large box down from the loft. When he opened it there was a gift wrapped package. He pulled the package out from the box finding a card attached. It was a happy fourteenth birthday card. Adam glanced over towards his mother, she knew nothing of this gift, she just shrugged her shoulders. Adam hesitantly opened the card to read it.

Happy Birthday to my favorite hunting buddy. I saw you looking at this in the store so I went back the next day and bought it for you. Now we can both hunt deer together. I know how good you are with the rabbits and squirrels, and you are my son so I know you are a born hunter. With this gift I know you will get that trophy buck, maybe even the buck of legend. Again Happy Birthday son. Now go get practicing so we can hunt. Love Dad. P.S. Your mother doesn’t know I bought this.

Adam almost dropped the card, he was shaking so bad, tears began raining down his face. His mother ran to his side wrapping him up in her arms to comfort him. She took the card from his hand so that she could read it. They both stood there in each others embrace crying.

Adam waited a couple of days before opening the gift. He was pretty sure he knew what it was, he just wasn’t ready for it. With the wrapping removed it revealed what he already knew. Sitting before him was the Hoyt compound bow with all the fixings: whisker biscuit, true glow sites, six arrow quiver, and you know all the god stuff. Adam removed the bow from its package grabbing hold of the string drawing it back. The draw weight was to light, and the draw length a little too short. This was expected, his dad bought it five years ago. Adam, for the first time in years actually felt like smiling — so he did. His dad had always surprised him, and even though he was gone, he was still able to surprise him.

“I love you too, Dad!” He said softly as he slowly let the string return, careful not to dry fire the bow.

~~~

For months now he had monitored this spot. Having set up his feeder and cameras, Adam had captured images of a large group of deer. One buck in particular stood out from the rest of the group. Towering above the rest of the group, his perfectly symmetrical antlers looked to be twelve points, maybe more.This one would make a nice trophy buck. Adam could picture the bust mounted in his office, it would go good with log-cabin theme. He could already taste it, the savory taste of a slow cooked deer roast with fresh potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and some of families secret spices. It was decided, Adam had to have that trophy buck.

Remembering everything his dad had taught him, Adam felt as ready as he will ever be. The pop up blind was in place — it sat about twenty yards from the tree stand his dad had fallen from. Adam couldn’t bring himself to take the stand down, he hoped to one-day use it again. All of his gear had been de-scented, he used some raccoon piss scented pads on his boots to cover his trail. Right before getting into his blind, Adam sprayed some Buck Bomb Doe Estrus. The only thing left was to wait for the buck to get into a good shot range.

It felt like a couple of hours had passed, Adam checked his cellphone only to verify he was correct. He began to worry he had done something wrong. According to the time stamp from his cameras, the deer should have shown up already. he decided to give it one more hour before packing it up.

Fifteen minutes had passed when he heard some rustling of toward his right. Adam looked but didn’t see anything at first. Right before he was about to turn away he spotted movement. It wasn’t what had made the rustling noise, but it was a deer. Adam grabbed his range finder, careful not to make any noise. It was a nice healthy doe standing at seventy yards. Too far for him to take a shot, Adam was looking for something in the thirty to fifty yard mark — preferably closer to the thirty yard.

Movement on his left side caught his eye. Three, four, now five doe stood out around the sixty and seventy yard zone. Adam considered attempting the shot although he had never taken a shot at anything over fifty yards. Adam slowly removed and arrow from the quiver, sliding it through the whisker biscuit sliding the nock onto the bow string. He hooked the release to the nocking loop, and began to draw back when it hit him. Adam wanted the buck, not a doe.

Adam relaxed his draw, and scanned around. A few more doe had came into view, but there wasn’t a single buck. He figured maybe another hunter had gotten his trophy buck, he should just take one of the does and call it good. Adam began to draw back on his bow again when a grunt had startled him. He figured it must have been what made the rustling noise earlier. A buck came from the right side of his blind stopping about ten yards in front of him. Adam drew his bow, looking down the sight he froze.

This was his first time taking down big game. When he was younger he had went squirrel and rabbit hunting with his dad. Shooting them was different, Adam didn’t think it would be, but it was. His heart was beating so hard, he hoped the deer would hear it. he was starting to shake, keeping his sight on his target was getting hard. Adam closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened them it felt like his dad placed his hand on Adams shoulder whispering advice to him, as he remembered what his dad had taught him.

Slow your breathing down son. Nice and easy, look through the peep sight and line up your ten yard pin. Keep your breathing slow and steady. Focus on the target, as soon as you feel at one with your arrow and target, trip the release.

Adam and the buck were breathing in unison, he felt at one with his weapon and prey. Tripping the release sent the arrow straight into the bucks heart. It tried to run off but only made it a few feet before collapsing.

“Thank you, Dad!” Adam said looking up into the sky.

After waiting to make sure the buck was dead, Adam went to check out his kill. It wasn’t the trophy buck he wanted — it was only a six point — but it will still look good on his office wall, and taste just the same.

The End

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