I followed the hunter around all morning. It was cold and wet. We’d walk for a short distance, stop, and then listen. Hear nothing and start over. This went on. Walk. Stop. Listen. Walk. Stop. Listen.
Coming over a low rise the hunter held up his hand. I froze. He slowly and gracefully knelt. He rested his left elbow on his knee and raised the rifle’s scope to his eye. A brief moment. I could feel my heart beating.
The blast from the gun reverberated throughout my body. I’d never felt such a force in my life. It’s funny, I don’t remember the sound. Only how the shock wave felt.
We walked down the hill to where the deer lay. My hands trembled as I worked the camera. I laughed that nervous laugh you have after a major adrenaline rush. As he began field-dressing the deer, the hunter laughed, too. I could tell he was proud.
It took him about fifteen minutes to finish the job. All that was left was to get the carcass up the hill and back to the truck.
The long, damp morning was a success … for the hunter. Not so much the deer.