Hunting for deer on Thanksgiving afternoon was a drive through the Apalachicola Wildlife Management area to see what we could find.
I was full from my hearty meal and wanted some fresh air. Brenda and I decided to go for a drive and scout for deer. I had left the deer dogs at the camp. I didn’t feel much like puttin’ ‘em out and then waiting around for them after dark. I knew that this being the first day of dog hunting season, they would be fired up and ready to go. Frog, the lead trail dog, has been known to run until she sends a nice buck our way. I was saving her the disappointment of being caught up before it got dark and she completed her mission.
We drove down 10 headed for the liquor still looking for fresh deer tracks. The afternoon was sunny, the air was cool, and the deer were walking. I just might be having fresh back strap to go with my leftover turkey, I thought.
“Look for deer,” I said to Brenda and Max.
We rolled along slowly through the listening curve. A doe and yearling crossed in front of the truck. Good, the deer are moving. We stopped and waited hoping for that elusive buck to follow, but to no avail. So we continued on our way.
We had traveled down the road a ways when in my rearview mirror I spotted a truck coming up behind me. I made it through a few more curves and the next time I saw him, he was coming quick. So at the next turn around I pulled over.
The truck pulled up along side me. It was hunting pal Tony driving a new souped up hunting truck. I hadn’t seen him since last hunting season, so we caught up on the latest goings on. We talked about his hunting truck and the things he still wanted to do with it.
It was getting near sun down, so we decided to mosey on down the road. Since Tony was going in my direction, I decided to turn around and retrace my steps.
We slowly rounded the curve at the liquor still, and I parked at the turn around. Since we had seen that doe and yearling earlier, I thought maybe some more deer would be moving. It wasn’t long before at the other end of Jackie’s stand, a doe crossed the road kinda quick. I raised my rifle and braced for a steady hold.
A small brown yearling stepped into my scope, flag high, dashing from the bushes behind his mama.
He stood in the road, pounded his little hoofs into the sand and looked back toward the bushes. He gave a little snort, then darted on across the road.
Max sniffed the air and whimpered. Yeah, he had seen them too.
Now I waited for Papa Buck to step out into the road. Steady, steady. I braced the rifle against the truck door.
The bushes rustled and my heart pounded. I anticipated the daddy buck would emerge from the thicket.
What I saw was a surprise. Instead of a buck, a coyote had made his way through the hedge, head down, sniffing the ground. He was reluctant for a brief moment, then committed to crossing the two lane ruts of the road.
There was no time to warn Brenda of the coming blast and to cover her ears.
Bam! I fired. He was down. The coyote rolled over in the sandy road.
I looked through my Leupold RX-IV Boone and Crockett range finder. It was a good 219-yard shot with my Winchester Model 100 243 with a Nikon Buckmasters BDC Reticle. Not bad for an ole man against a running coyote.
As it turned out, it was a head shot on a female, which means I stopped many future coyotes from being able to kill more deer.
It looked like the doe and yearling had something to be thankful about that day. They were spared being Thanksgiving dinner for the hungry coyote.
Until next time . . . . . . . . Kenny