Tyler and I awoke this morning well rested and well fed and headed out into a part of Tyler’s property that we had yet to investigate. We set up under a low tree with a clear shot to a couple piles of corn that he had set out yesterday afternoon and settled in to wait. Unbeknownst to me I was sitting dangerously close to a cactus, a fact which became painfully apparent about five minutes later when I shifted my weight around a bit. Despite the discomfort we sat and waited and were pretty quickly rewarded with some activity nearby.
The first visitor we had was a small doe to our 9 o’ clock position who seemed interested in the food and was coming towards it. There was a low fence in between the deer and the corn, so we just sat there waiting for it to decide to jump the fence. I guess we must have made too much noise because it perked up its ears and went all “deer in the headlights” mode and we had a five minute staring contest which I’m pretty sure the deer won. It eventually decided to trot away and find somewhere else to nibble.
Visitor #2 was another small doe, but this time it was approaching on our side of the fence and from our 12 o’ clock position. Tyler advised me to wait instead of trying to make a shot on the deer, and I’m very glad I did because not three minutes later these two big white tail bucks came waltzing in out of the woods and started eating. Thanks to some pretty heavy shrubbery in front of us I really could only see part of one of the bucks — the head. I took a little flak yesterday for my apparent “headshots only” policy with wildlife but I figured that the target was close enough that I could risk a shot. So I took aim with the Weatherby Vanguard Carbine, squeezed the trigger, and watched as a beautiful buck dropped straight to the ground in front of us.
After we waited for the deer to breathe its last Tyler popped it into the back of the truck and carted it over to a small stand of trees so we could take the above picture, and then we started in on the process of gutting the kill. Tyler did the cutting on the last deer, but this time I whipped out my H&K knife and started in on it with Tyler guiding me. I do admit that I had to grab a pair of gloves from the truck before I started, though. Something about “scene safe, BSI…”
Gutting a deer, to me, was fascinating. The closest I’ve been to seeing the insides of a human was my 1890s copy of Gray’s Anatomy which helped me through basic physiology for EMT, and a deer seems to be put together very similar to a human. At least all the same major bits are there and in generally the right places. As we were cutting it up I kept seeing familiar landmarks, pointing them out, and having Tyler call me a nerd. Extra special kudos to Tyler, by the way, for handling a sawsall like a friggin’ surgeon and expertly extricating a full bladder from the animal without spilling a single drop.
That was the third trip we made to the processing facility in two days. The guys there are starting to recognize me. We stopped at Whataburger on the way home for breakfast. I’m pretty sure that was the most Texas morning I’ve ever had…