As a fire took a lot of my favorite hunting ground I found it irasistable to head back and survey the damage. With a bow, on opening day.
I soon found deer. Glassed them for a while. Then went on a big sneak with my buddy Drew. I found a velvet 2×2 buck, shot an arrow and watched as it hit him in the last rib. A little far back but still in the vitals.
We waited the customary hour before tracking. We found no blood. My heart sank. I called in for back up, my Dad. One spot of blood on the bucks known rout. Not another drop. We found the tip of my arrow. It had been a pass through.
I was looking for a needle in a haystack, but I didn’t have a magnet. I lost the buck. With no doctors or hospitals I am nearly certain that buck has since passed. He will feed coyotes and not my family.
I struggle with my next actions. Shit happens, I get that. But I will always wonder what I could have done better. What clues I could have missed. I took a life and can’t even respect it with a good meal. Heartbreak.