The Hunt

The crisp air stung my face as I walked along the well-used path. The moon was starting to give way to the sun, letting it take its shift. I mimicked a stealth agent as I walked across the rustling leaves, dodging the fallen branches, careful not to disturb anything. Finally arriving at the tall maple I began to ascend the ladder to my hidden blind. The sun finally gave way through the clouds touching the hills of the open meadow. An hour passed with anticipation getting the best of me, then the rustling of leaves and the grunting of my prey awoke the natural born predator inside me. As quickly as the noise came it had stopped. I frantically looked around knowing it was the monster I have been tracking all season. My eyes suddenly shot to the edge of the woods as the branches of a low lying tree snapped off.

In the meadow a mature doe stood breathing heavy and fast obviously worn down from the escape she made from the rut. I knew when her ears perked he was close. In the distance the view of ivory antlers came into sight, igniting my senses. He was finally into view, prancing broadside in my bow’s sights. His massive body matched his twenty-point rack. This particular rut-stricken buck has come into my trail cam’s memory for two years only to disappear like a ghost during the season.

Every hair on my body stood erect as the adrenaline coursed throughout my veins. My breathing became labored as I waited for the right chance to release my razor edged arrow. I allowed him to let out one last breath that vaporized in the crisp autumn air. A single bead of sweat escaped my pore to run down the edge of my tautly clenched jaw. I let my fingers relax from my waxed string, releasing the arrow to cut through the air. With one blink he jumped kicking the air as the blood escaped from the exit wound. With that, I knew death had taken over his body. With one last sprint he tried to run from his fate, but alas the blood loss got the best of him and he lied down in a stumble. A rush of victory overcame me as I knew I ended the King’s reign. When death had settled him I ran to his side to look at the trophy I had just claimed. Two years of hard work and perseverance had shown in the deer, making me, a woman, to harvest one of the largest bucks in the entire state.

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