By: Judy Adams

Some folks say that deer hunting is all about “being in the right place at the right time,” and for the most part, they’re right, but that “right time” comes sooner for some than others. There are those lucky few that make you wonder if the deer don’t just walk up to them and politely say, “Here I am, shoot me, IF you can.” I am not one of those lucky few. I have long lost count on the number of miles walked, swamps traversed, trees climbed and blinds built in my twenty year quest for that “right time.” I kept waiting for that perfect moment when all things would come together so that someday my time would come and oh what a day it was! Ever so quietly, he stepped from the shadows of the brush into the open field that lay before me. In the blink of eye, he was there. I couldn’t believe it. Finally, that moment had arrived! Quietly I released the safety of my gun as I slowly lifted it to the window of the blind to ready for my shot.  As I zeroed in on him, my heart began to pound so loudly I just knew he would hear it and be gone in a flash.  Hoping he had not heard the click of the release and the pounding of my heart, I took aim and pulled back on the trigger. The shot had been right on target, and through the puff of smoke at the end of my barrel, I could see him jump as the bullet hit and then he was gone. Had I missed, had he fallen on the spot or had my fears come true? Maybe I had only wounded him and he was gone forever? My moment had come and gone in a flash.

That moment was very exciting, but the ones that followed are the ones I remember most of all.  As I stepped into the brush where I hoped to find him lying, my walkie-talkie came alive with the sound of my husband Gary’s voice. He and our friend and hunting partner Harold, heard my shot and were anxious to know the outcome. I told them “I’m in the middle of the swamp looking for my BUCK, but I haven’t found him yet.” Don’t move,” was the command from the walkie-talkie, “We’ll be right there!” In record time they arrived next to me in the swamp.  I was sent back to my blind so I could pinpoint the exact spot where the buck was standing when I took my shot. Harold took watch along the edge of the swamp and cornfield. As Gary slowly moved deeper into the swamp, my hopes were beginning to fade that I had missed my shot altogether. Suddenly I heard: “Harold, he’s coming your way!” Fleeing from his hiding place, the buck bounded safely from the swamp right between Harold and me, into the next swamp behind us. We raced to the edge of that swamp, and as Gary was emerging from the first swamp, Harold shouted, “He’s on the road.” Before I knew it, Gary and I were in Harold’s brand new cherry red Ford F250 chasing this buck across the cornfield, the soybean field and right into another swamp. The whole time being tossed around in the truck I was screaming, “Gary, don’t hurt the truck, don’t hurt the truck. Harold’s going to shoot YOU if you hurt his truck!” Finally we came to a stop on the edge of that third swamp and I had lost all hope of ever seeing this buck again.  ALL HOPE WAS GONE. It began to snow now and it was more rain than snow so I knew we’d never pick up the blood trail now. Soon, Harold joined us on foot as we tried to track the deer through the swamp with no luck. Then, as we came through the swamp and into the next cornfield, there he lay, wounded and tired but not so tired he couldn’t try one more time to escape for his life. Then, BOOM! BOOM! Gary and Harold both shot at the same moment and down he went. To this day we all lay claim to this 8 point buck that hangs on my wall as a reminder of that day when I finally got my “right place at the right time” moment. It wasn’t that moment that I remember the most, but the journey that got me there and beyond.