With my back to the creek, I heard a splash.
It wasn’t the crash and splash one expects during the rut. This wasn’t a chase scene that, if you’re lucky, can be heard through the entire valley on a calm day. This was simply the sound of a deer, quietly entering the creek. The sound of a relaxed deer, possibly getting a drink of water.
I had climbed the stand in the morning darkness. Now in the waning light of days end, I glanced over my shoulder. It was a buck in the creek, partially hidden by tag alder. A second later, I realize it was a shooter buck. Thought I saw a drop tine behind the alder, so it must be Hole in the Horn. I can feel the adrenaline rush now as the trophy whitetail walks across the creek.
Being that it was late in the day, I previously had taken the bow off the bow hook, and was holding it with release attached. I was sitting with my body adjusted left, facing where I expected a deer to cross. Hole in the Horn was drinking, while slowly, calmly walking up stream, partially hidden by tag alder. I draw back, while Hole in the Horn is behind the last bunch of tag alder, expecting him to enter a clearing and head north, where he would present a broadside shot. He steps out of the creek, enters the clearing, but heads west, towards another alder bunch. No time left, so I grunt loud, he stops. The lit nock lasers toward him, in an arc, covering the 25-30 yards. Shot looks perfect at impact. 50 yards later it appears he piles up in the brush. Later on its confirmed. He went down exactly where I thought.