Deer camp more than shooting an animal

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Dennis Clay

This is a multi-part series about the 2018 deer camp.

Monday morning of the 2018 general deer season found Rudy Lopez, Thomas Steffens and me hunting for deer north of Odessa. Nothing appeared.

Thomas left for home after lunch. Rudy and I checked the home-hunting territory. This area includes one-mile square of pasture, including wheat acreage, plus sagebrush, grasses and lots of basalt nooks and crannies.

We then headed off the property for other deer hiding places. Several were checked with no luck. Then, on the way back to the home territory, we were passing the same wheat stubble field where my deer was downed.

“There’s a deer,” I said.

“And it has antlers,” Rudy said.

This deer was bedded down, with only the neck, head, ears and antlers visible. Indeed, antlers were visible, but were there at least three on one side?

Rudy stepped out of the Death Ram and into the stubble. He rested his .270 on his Primos Trigger Stick bipod shooting sticks. We both studied the animal, who was looking at us. It was impossible to determine the point count from this position.

Finally, the deer turned his head and we both confirmed 3-points on the right side, while looking at the animal. Rudy steadied his rifle, from 150 yards distance, and fired. The deer disappeared.

It was a brain shot, which flipped the deer from having his head looking east to having the head come to rest pointing to the west. The animal was gutted, skinned, washed and suspended from a rafter next to mine.

We both decided to head home Monday night. Rudy had duck hunting plans and my plans included delivering Moses Lake Food Bank supplies to around 30 households in a senior living facility.

I headed back up on Tuesday afternoon to clean The Hut a bit and take time to conduct some extra writing. Writing while looking out the window in our hunting area and observe nature is especially rewarding.

The sky is filled with stars at night, with no city lights to interfere with the observation. The sound of wildlife provided an interesting song one early morning, as critters talked and sang from positions around the building. I didn’t get up to see what they were, but wish I had.

These weren’t quail, so don’t know if they were Huns or another bird. Another time, the yelps and cries of coyotes cut through the cold and dark night.

Next week: More about 2018 deer camp.

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