It was Christmas eve 2009 primitive firearms season and the first chance I've had to get out and hunt. I used a Thompson Center Renegade that has a Green Mountain .50caliber rifled barrel. Ammo was T/C 372gr. maxiball with 90 gr. of Pyrodex Select fired by CCI #11 caps.
There was a small group of us and I was unfamiliar with the area I was directed up a steep slope to the top of a ridge. I found an intersecting North South/East West trail with fresh scat on one corner. I set up in the crook of two trees some 15 yards away and settled into a padded seat after clearing away leaves and twigs (noisemakers).
The plan was to sit until around 11:30am and then slowly work our way back to a meeting point. After about two hours into it the constant mild breeze and frigid temperatures had me standing and wiggling my toes to get wam. The long climb to the ridge had made me sweat a little and I was paying the price for that. I was just noting how I had seen nothing. Usually I see squirrels, birds other critters when still hunting and I had seen nothing at all. Just as that thought crossed my mind I caught a slight movement on my peripheral vision.
I slowly turned my head and was startled by two deer 12 to 15 yards away. They had appeared like ghosts despite the crunchy ice layer on the snow, OK I admit I am hard of hearing also. The lead deer had a compact six point rack and the other deer had two oddball spikes, both were the same body size. One spike, on the second deer, was about 12" and the other about 8". I later learned the name he was given from the trail cam pictures was "Crazy Horn". I cocked the hammer back on the renegade. The six pointer lowered his head and stared hard at me. I do not believe he actually heard it, the wind was too brisk and it was moving from him toward me. I believe the movement caught his eye and he was trying to interpret it.
The six pointer turned and walked away slowly with the spike following behind. They picked up speed as they neared a drop off that ended in a flat landing about five feet down. By this time I had the rifle shouldered and the front sight firmly fixed just behind the left rib cage of the rear deer (the spike). I shoot with both eyes open and saw the lead deer drop to it's belly and slide over the edge, the second deer lept forward off the ground. I assume he did not want to land on his buddy but I am not sure how deer think. I kept the front sight behind his ribcage as he quartered away and even as he lept but as I pulled the trigger I saw a round white target. I was a little confused as to wether it was the cloud of smoke from the rifle or the deers white hindquarters. I felt pretty confident about the shot only because I do a fair amount of waterfowl and trap shooting so I walked a short distance toward where they went over the ledge in order to see if I could spot in what direction they headed. I know that waiting a few minutes is best but the drop off is so steep I could get a really wide view of the area and thought it would help.
As I approached the drop off point I observed the back of a deer rise and wobble back and forth a bit, right where I saw him leap. He had landed on the small flat below the drop off. I immediately stopped, took a breath and reloaded. I took my time deliberately to slow things up. A short time later, ? two minutes, I could see the deer in a clearing below about 75-80 yards away in some thin laurels. He lay down, then almost immediately got up, sat down and then stood weaving from side to side. He walked around the laurels and dissapeared. I knew he had fallen as the laurels were pretty open.
I had kept my sights on him after I reloaded until he disappeared using a tree as a rest but a second shot was not neccesary. I walked back to my sitting spot, strapped on my small pack and walked slowly down the hill after the deer and after calling my companions to assist me. I found the deer about 10-15 feet from where he disappeared, he had fallen and slid down a slight decline to his final resting spot. On examination I found the bullet entered the left side of the belly between the penis and belly button and went upward and destroyed the left lung and must have severed several arteries as bright red blood came out in large amounts when he was field dressed.
My first deer and on Christmas Eve. Wow what a gift. I have to thank my companions who assited me in the field dressing and dragging part of the hunt.