This photo was taken exactly a week, after it was shot by my son, and stolen by the neigbors! They dumped the hide, and carcass in the woods!
I was enjoying a quiet peaceful afternoon, sitting at the computer, when I heard 3 gun shots. A few seconds later, my son said, on the walkie talkie, that he thought, he may have, shot a buck! It was around 3-3:30 in the afternoon, and darkness would be setting in soon! Dave radioed to Noah, and told him to stay at the tree stand, and that he was making his way to him. I told him I would suit up, and be out. My daughter came with me, and we crossed the creek to where Noah was at, about 20 minutes, from the time he first radioed, we reached him. So we heard the story, of where the deer was, and where he shot, and the fact that the deer came back up, out of the creek bed.
I figured out where the deer had been shot, and we started looking for any signs, that he shot the deer. Dave was higher on the mountain, and I radioed to him to "stay high, and look for anything moving around".
About 20 yards from the tree stand, I found the first spots of blood, it was fresh, so I knew we were on the right path. Dave came down, and joined us on our search. We followed the trail, at times, loosing the blood, but with all of us looking, we would pick it up again, and move on. We started a steep climb, up the hillside, covering very rough terrain. Then we heard 2 gun shots, my heart sinking, thinking someone just shot my son's deer.
We moved on, up the hill, finding drops of blood, and pools of blood, where the deer had stopped. We got to a "deer intersection', and no one could find any evidence, of which way the deer went. I went to the right, and the guys went to the left.
I found a tuft of hair, leading me into some extremely thick crabs, and jaggers. I kept going, until it came out to the gas line, so I turned around. I had lost my trail, and was stuck in the thicket! I radioed the guys, but for some reason, I wasn't getting a response. I could see orange in the distance, and started yelling. My son was the closest, and was making his way to me. I kept trying to find my way out of the predicament, I found myself in, and about 20 feet in front of me I saw orange. I knew it wasn't my son, I could hear him coming through the thicket. I yelled out, it was Dave!
At this point I am sweating, and irritated, with the fact I can not "find" a way out! I started kicking the jaggers, a knocking them down. I can hear the jaggers "tearing" my hunting suit, as I try, to get them to release their "hold" on me. My hair was being pulled, my hat was torn off numerous times, my hands are being scratched, but I was so determined to get out of there!!!!
I kept fighting, counted to three, and took a leaping jump, to try and get out! I made it, not with out, a lot of pain!
But the sun was low in the sky, and I knew, if we didn't find anything soon, we never would. Neither one of the guys, had their flashlight with them. This was going to be tough!
We got on a main quad trail and started heading back down the mountain.
Up ahead we could see more orange, in a valley. It was our neighbors, loading a deer on the back of their ATV. We approached them, and the dad, started grabbing his license. The son, who is in his 30's, was tying a buck, to the back of the quad. It was an impressive sized buck, although it only had 1/2 a rack. And the other side only had 2 points. Not legal, for an adult license holder, but it was legal, for a junior license holder, which my son had. And I noticed, they had not gut the deer! Not at all, like them.
So Dave "chit chatted" with them. I wanted to ask Noah, if that was the deer he shot, but I didn't. i just had a strange feeling about the whole thing. Totally frustrated, I said I was going to head home.
We never found Noah's buck, nor any other "signs", of where it had gone.
So I wonder about honesty....was that my son's deer, and if it was, why wouldn't my neighbors say so. And why would they, be taking an "illegal" deer? They already had shot several.
The whole event, just puzzled me all night, and I wonder about the integrity of so called "good" people!