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Ohio Turnpike Buck (standard:non fiction, 2340 words)
Author: DINGERAdded: Dec 10 2001Views/Reads: 1723/1127Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Short story about my first deer hunt by the Ohio Turnpike.

In October, I got down to business preparing for the upcoming Ohio
shotgun season.  It ran from November 26th, through the 2nd of 
December.  My hunting pal, Jimmie Fraley and myself  were bowhunting 
and scouting as much as possible.  Although our jobs kept us out of the 
woods throughout most of the week.  Our weekends were spent in them. 

Before opening day of bow season we had alot to do.  Jimmie and I
acquired hunting rights from a long time friend of my family and local 
farmer.  Located in North Central Ohio’s firelands area, (Huron County) 
we began to survey the land.  I made a stop to the county courthouse 
one day, and picked up a poster size map of our new hunting land.  The 
map detailed property lines, highways and county roads, crop fields, 
rivers, swamps, creeks, and woodlands.  A valuable tool for studying, 
and plotting our hunting schemes. 

A knock on the door of the farm next door proved to be an asset.  The
lady owned a narrow stretch of land with a cornfield, swamp, fence row, 
and a small section of woods that attached to the woods we already had 
rights to hunt.  She signed our hunting slips and we were thankful for 
the opportunities that were given to us. 

As we scouted our new territory, we found several tracks, scraps, and
tree rubs throughout!  We thought to ourselves, “we are on to something 
here”.  But it was alot of area for two guys to cover.  So we 
concentrated on the cornfield with the swamp next to it.  This is where 
we found the most significant signs of deer activity.  And we were 
excited to find the tracks of a “brutus” Ohio buck.  His dew claw 
impressions were 4 inches behind the back of his hoof.  He was big! 

Throughout October, we were unsuccessful in harvesting any deer.  We
were wondering what we were doing wrong.  We were setup perfectly with 
a food source and we were downwind on a dominant trail.  By the peak of 
the rut we decided that the deer were limiting their daytime 
activities, and were bedding down within a swamp nearly 250 yards from 
the cornfield and swamp were were set up on.  They had water within the 
swamp and only needed to leave it at night to feed.  So our plans had 
to change, and it was not looking good. 

The swamp the deer were held up in was a heavy thicket all the way
around,  about 30 yards wide and 50 yards long.  Getting in undetected 
was impossible, and part of the swamp belonged to another landowner, 
who only allows family and friends to hunt.  We were stumped.  So we 
sat around the swamp, and near the property line of the swamp best we 
could.  Even though we really wanted to harvest a deer with a bow and 
arrow, it was the last weekend before shotgun season, and we had to get 
our guns sighted in. 

My 11 year old son Ryan, had completed his safety hunter’s course back
in September, and was wanting to join us during shotgun season.  I 
acquired a Savage “Springfield” .410 pump.  So Jimmie, Ryan, and myself 
loaded up Sunday afternoon and we went out to sharpen our shooting 
skills for the season ahead.  Jimmie was toting a Mossberg 12 ga. 
semi-auto, with the rifled slug barrel.  I had the Charles Daly, 
semi-auto, VR Field Grade 12 ga. with a smooth bore and an improved 
cylinder choke tube.   Ryan’s .410 was on target.  He fired three 
shells, and put it away.  Although Jimmie was not completely thrilled 
with the patterns he was throwing out, he was confident in his ability 
to bring down a deer.  My Charles Daly was shooting fine.  As sunday 
evening came to a close, we were anxious to hit the woods.   Tomorrow 
was opening day! 

I was extremely excited for Ryan.  This was his first deer hunt!  I
wanted to be there with the both of them opening day, but my prayers 
for rain went unanswered, as I was scheduled to work.  There were two 
other gentlemen permitted to hunt the land this week, so everyone got 
their heads together to plan the attack.  Opening day for Jimmie and 
Ryan was exciting, as shots rang out in the morning around 7:30.  They 
sat along a creek bottom about 50 yards apart, when an eight point came 
busting through the woods.  Ryan had the shot, and took it. He fired 
his last two rounds as the buck left him behind.  Ryan gave chase, as 
more shots rang out.  When Ryan and Jimmie came up on the deer laying 
in the winter wheat sprouts next to the creek bottom, they were greeted 
by a hunter from the woods behind them.  He had also shot the deer and 
tracked it across the property line.   Jimmie asked Ryan if he thought 
he hit the deer, and Ryan wasn’t sure.  After examining the deer, they 

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