The dawn fog settled on the meadow obscuring everything beyond a few feet. I sat motionless only seven yards within the tree line and waited. I had been in position since 3:30 this morning. Now the sun crept over the unseen horizon and began piercing the fog. They would arrive soon.
My friends had taken flanking positions nearby. Whichever one of us got first opportunity would take the shot. Steve was in a tree stand 25 feet off the ground to my left. Mike lay prone between a log and a boulder to my right. Together we formed a skirmish line 100 yards wide. We hoped it was enough.
The fog grew patchy in the sunlight. Cleared portions of the meadow grew more visible by the moment. The heavy dew bent the grass and flowers with sparkling drops. The moment approached.
I heard them coming. Hesitant footsteps at the far edge of the clearing. They stopped and held their position for a long time. They peered out into the open meadow. It was a dangerous place to be at this time. No cover. Men with guns could be all around in ambush. They stepped forward again and froze directly ahead of me. Just 40 yards away. Headed left to right. Exposing their flank to me. A perfect shot.
I raised my bolt-action rifle and sighted down the barrel. Inhaled slowly. Exhaled some, and held my breath. Squeezed the trigger and broke the morning silence with a deafening explosion of sound.
Steve called out from the tree stand, “You got her! A big doe!”
I got up slowly, stretching for a moment to release the tension. Mike joined me in a walk across the meadow to see our prize. As we approached the body, I heard noises in the brush. I looked and saw a young fawn scrambling away with others of his kind.
“A little bambino,” Mike said. “You’re right. This is a good place for deer hunting.”
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