One beautiful fall afternoon I was checking stands 7 miles north of Nebraska City, Nebraska on the Missouri River. 200 acres of fine whitetail country. Approximately 40 acres of this property is prime bedding area. The view on this land is incredible and every time I have a chance to hunt and take it all in I thank God for the opportunity.
All the stands checked out and so with a couple hours of hunting time I decided to crawl in a stand to finish out the day. Our stands are located along the south edge of the bedding area and the cornfield edge which makes for a nice set up with prevailing winds from the north most fall days. Just as I was settled in the stand and minutes later I caught sight of a shooter buck moving my way on a trail that would pass 20 yards broadside. I studied the buck as he moved closer. My muscles tightened and I positioned myself with the wind in my face and anticipation of making the shot with the buck crossing right to left broadside. As the buck came closer I started to vacillate on whether I was going to harvest this buck. He was very respectable in size and would have pleased most trophy archery hunters. Just as I was about to draw I froze and let him walk by. As it ended up I was able to watch this buck graze in the woods for 40 minutes. If it had all ended right there it was a successful hunt watching one of God’s magnificent animals in the wild outdoors of Nebraska farm country. The buck wandered off into the depths of the bedding area ravine.
Day dreaming about what I had just taken in I looked to my left and watched a mature doe make her way from the bedding area through the woods to my left about 25 yards and then to the cornfield edge and begin eating corn cuisine. I glanced back to the trail she had just walked on and saw a flicker of white, the unmistakable tail flicker of a content deer with it’s head down browsing. The “Pleasant Surprise” came when this deer lifted it’s head. 35 yards away and staring in my direction with no clue I was there because of perfect wind conditions.
I started bow hunting with my father when I was 15 years old. That was 40 years ago and a number of harvested deer later. Why do these moments never get old. At 55 one of the most refreshing things for me is be in the woods enjoying God’s outdoors.
In the next few minutes I was given the gift of harvesting a fine animal. He walked the same trail as the doe. I made a shot at 25 yards through a window in the trees along the edge. I thought I may have hit him a little high. I have learned over the years that if you are unsure of your shot and you are presented with another do not hesitate to expedite for a clean kill. With second nature I had another arrow at the ready. The majestic buck trotted to the corn field and standing broadside at 35 yards I was able to make the shot with my Mission Eliminator hitting center of the lungs with a 4 bladed Wasp. I watched the buck trot another 40 yards and collapse. I have rehearsed this “Pleasant Surprise” many times over since that day. I am so thankful for the memory. Thank you Mission Staff for making this fine memory possible with the excellent products you make available to us!