The weather was pretty brutal this year for deer hunting, but nevertheless I was able to have a successful hunt for myself at least.  I normally hunt all three weekends of the MN rifle season, but this year was a shorter season due to family obligations.  So here I am all done hunting, and proud to have my first successful "stalking" of a deer story.

Opener morning I got near my deer stand and kicked up a few deer that were out in a clearing.  They ran off, and I attempted what I thought was a make able shot.  I didn't just miss once, I shot 3 times in a row and the deer didn't flinch.  I gave up, feeling like a real idiot after realizing I was trying to shoot 200 yards or so with my not flat shooting 30-30.  A little bacground: we normally have very "brushy" or "taggy woods" so a 30-30 is a good choice for our area.  However, they had just logged out this clearing so I could see further than ever before.   Long story short, I was really upset with myself for wasting bullets and losing my confidence.

The rest of opener pretty much sucked.  Freezing rain moved in, and I was soaked.  I didn't even make it through the whole day as I had to peel the wet clothes off of me.

Next morning I woke up early on a very windy day.  I didn't think there would be much movement out there as the deer would be hunkered down but you have to try anyway.  I made it out to my stand and sat for a while, but the wind was so bad I was worried I was going to fall out of my stand.  I got down and figured I'd walk around a bit, maybe push a deer back to one of the other hunters in my party.  I've never had luck moving around and getting a deer.

Every deer I've shot in the past has basically gone like this.   Sitting in a stand or on a log, and a deer walks by and I shoot it.   I have tried to "stalk" deer in the past.  Like I've seen their tracks and I've tried to creep up on them, but they always hear me or get spooked and run out of range.

This time something was different.  I took a step and saw a deer about 50 yards away from me jump up and run off for a bit up a hill.  It looked back at me, and we had a staring contest for a bit.  I raised my rifle to see if I could get a shot and it took off over the hill.  I nearly gave up because I've never had success following a deer when I decided to give it a try.  I back tracked a bit and walked up the hill and kind of flanked where I thought the deer was.  I creeped up the hill and as soon as I could see over it there it stood, broadside about 150 yards away.  I took the shot and struck him in the neck, where he dropped and died instantly.

What I thought was a doe at first turned out to be a buck that had lost it's horns.  I would say it was a button buck, but this deer was a lot bigger than a button buck could have been.  It was a good sized deer and we hunt "brown and down."  Either way it was a great shot, great kill, and a new experience for me.  This year's hunt actually felt like a hunt and not just dumb luck.

I shot this video just after shooting the deer.  My plan was to video blog the shot and deer, but unfortunately my phone froze up in the bitter cold shortly after.  But you can still see the set up of what happened.