By Bobby Dale Welch/Staff Correspondent
I’ve enjoyed telling bear hunting stories over the past few weeks. I have a few more in the can, but as I’ve previously stated, I’m a deer hunter.
It took years for me to kill a deer after I started hunting. I remember my very first bow kill in Lee County. It was October, but it was hot with lots of bugs. I was more prepared than ever, and we had shot our bows almost every day. I had found a crossing on a creek where an oak tree was dropping acorns into the water, and the deer were sure enjoying that spot. I put my summit tree stand on a tree about 25 yards away from the crossing and up a hill a little bit.
I sat down to wait, and pretty soon deer began to feed. I had shot a few deer with a gun, but this was different. A deer finally came into range, and I let an arrow fly. It sounded good and looked good. I went and got my hunting partner. I could barely talk, but he kept asking questions: “Where was it? What was it? Where did you hit?”
But I was totally blank. I finally pointed towards the area at where I thought the deer was. My partner walked down and said, “You hit it, and it looks like a good hit. There’s your deer.”
I had made a good shot, and the deer didn’t get very far.
It doesn’t always happen that way. One time, my dad and a friend of mine hunted at Scotch Management Area in Thomasville, which was a good four-hour drive from home. We left on a Thursday, hunted Friday and Saturday and headed home late Saturday night. We saw a few deer but didn’t get anything.
The drive to a hunting site is usually filled with anticipation, but the drive home is tiresome. My dad drove on the way back, and I sat in the middle. We were getting closer to home with each passing minute. Rolling north on Interstate 59, we passed the first Springville exit.
As we approached the second Springville exit (where the prison is located near), I noticed something in the road. I stuttered but said nothing that could be understood. My friend asked what I had said. My dad braced on the steering wheel and slightly pressed the brake as the truck slammed into the dark figure in the road. Milliseconds after the impact, I yelled, “Deer!”
Yep, we smashed a deer on our way home from hunting four hours away. We were literally 30 minutes from our house, and deer were diving in front of fast-moving vehicles.
We jumped out of the truck and retrieved the deer while congratulating my dad on his accomplishment. In the meantime, my dad was assessing the damage to the truck. Needless to say, he wasn’t as excited about what happened as we were.
Luckily, we were all okay and the truck was repairable. I guess the saying of “it’s never over ‘til it’s over” holds true in hunting.