By: Lee Floyd

Our family at the deer camp.
Our family at the deer camp.

We had been planning this vacation for months so last Sunday we loaded everything we own (it seemed like that to me) in the truck and my wife, daughter and I headed for deer camp. My son followed us down on Monday. Last Tuesday was his birthday and we all wanted to be together in the woods.

Monday morning my daughter and I headed into the woods at first light. Last year was her first year deer hunting but she didn’t get the opportunity to close the deal on her first. Just as we got to the food plot we were going to hunt we got busted by two does. We hunted the morning hunt but didn’t see anything else. At least we got to see deer.

Monday evening we were back at the same spot with the same results, busted by the same two does. That’s where the bad luck ended and the magic began, and brother it was pure magic. About 5 p.m. a buttonhead came out at the bottom of the foodplot and we sat and watched him graze. A few minutes later a handsome spike came out in the plot to our left and began to graze. Ten minutes later a 6-pointer came out on our right and started to graze.

The buttonhead worked his way up the plot towards us and the spike started moving in his direction. Meanwhile, the 6 pointer is watching all of this while he browses. The spike got froggy and chased the buttonhead out of the middle of the plot and up towards us. The 6-pointer was watching and I could tell he was thinking “What does that guy think he is doing picking on a small fry like that?” He lowered his head and went back to browsing but he started moving towards the spike. I knew what was coming next.

Matt's deer
Matt’s deer!

The spike sensed the challenge, stood his ground waiting for the 6-pointer to get there and when he did the spike started sniffing around the 6-pointer’s backside. The 6-pointer wheeled around and the tussle began. Finally the 6-pointer dropped the bulldozer blade and started backing the spike up until he had enough and left.

Since Troup County is 4-points or better none of the deer were legal but my daughter got to watch her first fist fight with a ringside seat. She was definitely stoked.

Tuesday morning was my son’s birthday and it dawned cool and clear but windy. He decided to hunt behind camp which was a zero prospects hunt because I’ve only taken two pictures of deer all year long back there. Meanwhile my daughter and I were back on the same foodplot. 10 a.m. came and we decided nothing was happening, so time to head back to camp for some breakfast and a snooze. As soon as we were on the ground we both received a text from my son saying he had one on the ground. We beat a hasty retreat back to camp and out to the foodplot and he was there with a nice 8-pointer on the ground and his proud mom was snapping pictures. It came out of nowhere, worked it’s way down the foodplot, and when he finally had a shot he took care of “bidness.”

This makes five years in a row he has killed a deer on his birthday or his birthday weekend. Nov. 5 is his lucky day.

That evening I decided to hang in camp with my wife since my daughter wanted to hunt with her brother.  Since he had the hot hand it made sense.  They hit the woods about 3:30 p.m. and my wife and I enjoyed a lazy fall afternoon together while we rode over to RB’s taxidermy in Manchester to get a Euro mount started for my son.

The end of legal hunting time came and went and we hadn’t heard a peep out of the two hunters. Finally about 6:45 p.m. we both get a text from my son Matt – “Amanda’s deer”.

Amanda's deer!
Amanda’s deer!

Another 8-pointer on the ground. This one did the same thing. It came out of nowhere off to their right just before last light. Matt put his binocs on it, saw it was legal, looked across at his sister and whispered “that’s your deer.” From there on in she took care of business like a seasoned deer hunter. She got the crosshairs on him, lined up the shot and waited until she knew she had a kill shot and squeezed off the shot like she had been taught. She described the whole thing to me and I told her “You were in the zone, weren’t you Sugar Bear?” She knew immediately what I was talking about. Now she knows what it means because she experienced it.

They got back to camp and the celebration was on. We enjoyed a relaxing evening and a family dinner together in the newly renovated cabin I spent all Summer and all of archery season working on dreaming about this day.

The next day was skinning, quartering and butchering. Amanda’s no slacker and she is in it to win it, including the work after the shot. It didn’t take much instruction because she’s a natural.

I’ve done a lot of hunting and fishing over the years and have tons of special memories just like everyone else, but this trip takes the cake. The weather was stunningly perfect, the woods were ablaze with Fall colors, the deer were moving, my son got an 8 pointer on his birthday and my daughter got her first deer the same day and we had a relaxing time in the woods and shared the closeness of family all together. It was idyllic magic from start to finish. I don’t know how I could ask the Good Lord for more but I am looking forward to the next time we are all together in the woods again. They say if you “talk the magic” you lose it. I’m thinking I can beat the odds on that as long as I’m with my family in the west Georgia woods!

Editor’s Note: The author has granted us permission to share this story on the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division blog. He originally posted his story on Georgia Outdoor News Forum at http://forum.gon.com/showthread.php?t=779483.

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