Hunting a roebuck on a misty morning

The morning is overcast. The mist hangs over the fields and meadows as I silently and carefully make my way through the woods. I stop as usual at the Fluxfallet waterfall and taste the ice-cold water. It feels special to quench my thirst right there at the water’s edge. Bordering a clearing is an old stone wall that I know makes a good hiding place. Roe deer tend to pass on the other side of the meadow. If I am quiet and careful enough, and if the wind direction is right—as I have calculated it to be today—then there is a good chance I’ll bring a buck home.

I find the spot, crawl in behind a tumbledown stone wall, and study the meadow. Sometimes the deer visit a small pond, if it can be called that, at the bottom of the meadow. Today there is nothing, both the meadow and the pond edge are vacant. Is Diana not with me today? But I calm myself. Patience is one of the best friends a hunter can have. It is better to enjoy the peace and quiet. I dig out my thermos and pour a cup of coffee, for only me and the trees. A woodpecker pecks intensely for bugs. I allow my thoughts to come and go on their own, thoughts about work yesterday, about whether to renovate the bathroom this year or wait a while longer.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I see something. Movement. Can it be? Yes, there he is. A fine looking buck is what it looks like. He makes his way with slow and sure steps out onto the meadow. Will he stop to graze, or will he continue on down to the pond to drink? I raise my rifle, position it, and check the scope. It is a prime specimen with antlers that will hold their own in my collection at home. I am barely breathing. Will he present, or will he suspect something? Just as the thought occurs to me, he raises his head and scent-checks the air. Damn—he senses me, I think, but no. He lowers his head again and continues grazing calmly. I release the safety and squeeze the trigger. The shot is perfect. Mid-graze, the forelegs fold, and he drops nice and neat. I take a deep breath. The dressing remains, and I know it will be a few hours before I can head home to my family.


“I find the spot, crawl in behind a tumbledown stone wall, and study the meadow.”