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Friday evening my kids and I talked about if we wanted to go hunting Saturday morning and Saturday evening, or just Saturday evening. The agreement was made to go just Saturday evening - in part because we had a birthday party to go to at noon.

Saturday morning rolls around, we sleep a little late, get up, get our morning shower and breakfast. From there we started getting ready for my grandsons 2nd birthday party.

Behind the library in Jasper, Texas there is a fenced in park with 2 covered areas, bathroom and a play ground. Its a nice place for the family to have a birthday party, or just take the small kids to go play. The whole are is fenced in, so you don't have to worry about the smaller kids leaving the park.

Everything went well at the party, I brought along a small grill to cook hot dogs - so we had cookie cake, cake and hot dogs to eat.

Around 1 pm or so we loaded up and headed back home. Between 1pm and 2:30 I played some Left 4 Dead 2.

At around 2:30pm told my daughter and my son it was about time to load up. I make it a point to ask my son if he is bringing a flashlight. I usually have to bring 2 lights and loan him 1. But this time he brought a cheap headlight he got last Christmas. We loaded up the gear, 2 Marlin 336 30-30, my Maxpedition Noatak backpack, a Gerber Big Rock from Rocky National, and a couple of flashlights - a 2 AA LED flashlight and a 2 cell D Maglight.

When we reached the place where we hunt, I handed my son 6 rounds of Remington Express Core-Lokt in 30-30 Winchester 150 grain soft point. He loaded his rifle, grabbed his I-Pod, cell phone and started the 1/4 mile walk to the stand.

Two weeks before hand, my daughter and I had been in a stand and checked the feeder on our way out. Since the feeder was getting a little low on corn, I brought 2 - 50 pound bags with us. I backed up to the feeder and filled it up.

I told my daughter to get in the stand I'll be there in a minute. I then drove my truck to where we park at - which is about 100 - 125 yards from the stand. As I'am walking back to the stand, my daughter meets me half way - she then informs me that there are wasp in the stand and she does not want to get stung. Ok fine, we walked to another stand that is about 1/3 - 1/4 mile from my truck.

The stand my daughter and I are in, and the stand that my son are in are maybe 200 - 300 yards away from each other. The 2 stands do not face each other, and their separated by a creek bottom and thick timber.

Sometime around 4:10 - 4:15pm my daughter and I heard my son fire off a single shot.

We used to carry some hand held walkie-talkie radios for the hunters to stay in contact. But on this trip we did not bring the walkie-talkies. Good thing my daughter and my son both brought their cell phones with text messaging capability. We were able to send messages from stand to stand and remain perfectly quit.

I asked my daughter to send my son a text message telling him to be quit, and wait about 30 - 45 minutes before he got out of the stand. If he missed the deer, that would give the deer time to settle down and maybe walk back out into view. If my son did not miss, that 30 - 45 minutes would give the deer time to bleed out.

About this time a doe walks out of the tree line and goes to the wildlife feeder that my daughter and I are watching. So here we are, with a doe in front of us and a possible downed buck at my sons stand.

The idea of having to track 2 deer just did not appeal to me at the time, so after much thought, I decided not to take the doe my daughter and I were watching. If the buck my son shot was wounded, we might be out after dark trying to track it - and that might be a very time consuming project.

Video from November 7, 2010 of some whitetail deer

After waiting about 45 minutes, I told my daughter it was time to go check on her brother. We got our gear, and eased out of the stand - while the doe was still eating the corn.

Should we go check on my son, or go get the truck and drive over to where he was at? After thinking about it for a little while, I decided to go get the truck and drive the old logging roads to my sons location.

Its maybe a 10 minute drive over to my son. We have to take a dirt road, and then an old logging road that is not suitable for 2 wheel drive trucks or cars. Due to the washed out ruts in the road, I have to lock in the 4-wheel drive.

My daughter and my arrive at my sons location - a few moments later he comes out of the wood line where he had been looking for a blood trail. From there, I start asking him details about where the buck was standing, and exactly what he saw. One thing that my son said that made me think he hit the buck - the deer kicked and jumped when t shot was fired.

New growth timber surround the area where the stand is at - so the pine trees are planted in rows. I walk into the second row and walk down between the trees - walking slowly, shining my flashlight from side to side. After a few minutes I find a first drops of blood. My son says something "yea, I knew I shot that deer." Up until we found the blood drops, my son was starting to think that he missed the deer.

When we were getting read yo leave the house, I grabbed 2 flashlights - 1 AA LED light and 1 3 D cell maglight. What I did not know, is that the batteries in the maglight were almost dead. I remember charging some D cell batteries a couple of months ago - but that was for my 2 D cell maglight, not the 3 cell. In other words, I grabbed the wrong light.

After following the blood trail for a few minutes, the batteries in my maglight started to give out.

My son had an LED head lamp that was working ok, and I gave the good 2 AA LED light to my daughter,,,, but my light was dead. Hang on, there are 2 small flashlights in the glove box of my truck - and their both dead.

Ok, so what do I do? Think,,,, there has to be something I can do to get a flashlight going….. Hey, didn't I bring some extra batteries for my camera? Thank goodness I use a camera that uses 2 AA batteries. I take one of the flashlights from the glove box of my truck, get my cameras spare batteries and I have a working flashlight. It may not be the best in the world, but it lights up the floor of the pine thicket just enough to see the blood trail.

The blood trail goes drop by drop, then disappears, another drop or 2, then disappears,,,. My daughter pulls through with a good eye for blood drops. Somehow, she is able to see the smallest drops of blood that I overlooked.

Instead of running in a straight line, this deer seems to be running in an arch. I figure its aiming for a trail that will take it down to a creek bottom about 100 yards away. If the deer reaches the bottom, the going can get rough - as its overgrown with stickers and dense under brush.

After about 30 - 45 minutes, I spot the white underbelly of the deer and point it out to the kids.

My son and daughter were so proud, and they had a right to be. And as a parent, I am proud of them. We worked together and found that deer as a team.

My son hands the Marlin 336 30-30 to his sister, grabs the deer by the antlers, and starts pulling it up hill to the truck. In just a couple of minutes we are back at the truck. The tail gate is dropped and the deer is pulled into the bed.

We get the deer back to the deer camp - it weighs in at 156 pounds and has an inside spread of 15 inches. From there, the deer is taken to Jasper Quality Meats.
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