Grandpa's Ten Pointer
As another year wound down, I again took part in an annual holiday tradition. It was December 29, and I was on a late-season bow hunt in north Missouri
From the ground, I watched as dark clouds rolled across a gray sky. The weather had been relatively mild, but an approaching front was dropping temperatures fast. It promised to be a good night for deer movement.
I was trying to find a good stand location, and eventually I came across an ideal spot. On the edge of a grassy hillside, I noticed several trails funneling into a hardwood thicket. Multiple tracks and fresh sign indicated several deer were using the area.
Unfortunately, the only straight tree big enough to hang a stand in was a thorny locust. As I debated how much I really want to sit there, I was reminded of a lesson my grandpa taught me years ago: If you want something bad enough, you’re going to have to work for it.
So, armed with his advice (and a good pair of gloves) I began the tedious job of clearing thorns and hanging my stand.
I got set up, and within minutes movement from the side caught my eye. Carefully, I leaned around the tree for a better look. Sure enough, a large deer was working across the hillside, 90 yards behind me. Through the briars and tall grass, I could see antlers as he raised his head. A couple of soft grunts from my call got his attention, and he started working my way.
From what I could tell, he looked like a decent 8-pointer. A nice surprise, as I only expected does this late in the year. At 65 yards, he made it to a little clearing and turned his head. By then I was really excited. He had four points on his left side, but he was showing six on the right, with good width and tremendous mass.
“He’s a giant!” raced through my head.
Eventually, the big 10-pointer made it into my 30-yard shooting lane. All I needed was for him to look away, look down or look anywhere else so I could draw.
Finally he looked away, and I drew my bow. Just then, he swung his head back and picked me off in the tree. I hurriedly settled the 30-yard pin behind his shoulder and squeezed the release. At the same time he whirled around. I watched the arrow sail harmlessly over