I’m in my studio painting commissioned art for clients and a friend messages me that he just shot a 10 pointer and could use my help gutting it because he’s only gutted one before. I changed my boots, grabbed a knife, a little saw, a gallon of water and my deer hunting cap so I wouldn’t get my butt shot off as easily from newbies walking around with deer rifles. (Nobody was out there there, but just in case.)
I jump in the van, and get to him in a desolate parking lot about 8 minutes from his phone message to my arrival. There he is with a 10 pointer that he managed to wrestle up into the box of his truck and he’s not without some physical issues. I’m still amazed that he got that buck into the box of the truck. That dude is pretty tough. It was a larger deer.
He said he was at another landing wandering around and 50 yards away, there is a deer facing directly at him. He couldn’t tell if it had antlers because the brush was too thick and in hazelnut brush, everything looks like it has antlers. So, he just waited, gun up and watching. After an eternity, the deer turned his head and that which could have been hazelnut and alder brush became antlers. He squeezed off a round, dead-center-chest. A hop and a drop.
Upon gutting it, I could see what a great shot it was. He sheared the top of the heart off and removed a lobe of the liver. There would be no chasing around in the brush with a textbook shot like this. I marveled and envied his good shooting fortune. Most of the deer I’ve shot are running by me at a weird angle and usually going 70 mph with a jet-pack strapped to their backs. Then I would have to run around with them. As per my friend’s request, I saved the heart, liver and found one kidney. He’s eatin’ tonight, lucky dog!
And now, I’m back in my studio painting people’s beloved pets on acrylic discs. How strange our “normal day” must look to somebody not from here.