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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Don's Deer

Yesterday I shot my first proxy deer of the season. A proxy deer is one that I harvest for someone else - someone over the age of 65 or who is too infirm to hunt for themselves. Once I harvest a proxy deer I also process it for them. So it is a lot of work. For this reason, every year I say I'll do less proxy hunting, but every year I end up doing just as many proxies. The families I hunt for REALLY appreciate the meat, and I just can't get enough of camping and hunting in Kodiak's backcountry. So this past weekend Gregg and I harvested Don's deer.

At the start of our hunt on Friday evening, about 20 minutes from the truck, we spotted a small buck. We passed on him and kept on climbing towards our camping spot for the night. But I couldn't help dwelling a bit on how I might have just passed up on the 'bird in the hand'. I wondered if I had cursed our chances of harvesting anything on the trip.

On saturday we woke up before sunrise and were glassing for deer to harvest as the sun rose. We saw nothing but does. Legally, we can only harvest bucks on the road system near Kodiak. I was beginning to believe we had cursed ourselves when another small buck suddenly showed up 230 yards away. Gregg opined that I might want to wait and check out one more bowl to see if we could find a nice '4 point'. But not me - I had my bird in hand, and realized how lucky I was to get a second chance. Now Don's family will get some sweet August Sitka Blacktail deer.

Photos: Gregg lounges while we wait for dinner to cook under our tarp tent. Me in front of our tarp tent Friday evening. Gregg skylit at dawn Saturday morning. The morning light on the mountain side soon after dawn. Final photo is of Gregg and I with our hard earned deer. Patrick

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