Christmas season brings back memories

By By Mike Giles/The Meridian Star
Dec. 22, 2000
As I sat in my climbing tree stand last week, some 30 feet high, a dog bark startled me and broke the monotony.
As the dog came closer and closer, I remembered the words my grandfather Nolen told me approximately 30 years ago. "When you hear a dog bark you better be ready to squeeze that safety off, because that deer is going to be out ahead of the dogs and he might appear any moment," exclaimed Pawpaw Pat.
Sure enough, it wasn't very long until a big doe came by just ahead of the dogs.
As things quieted down once again, my mind wandered back to another hunt many years before. We were in a swamp bottom deep in the woods of Webster County during Christmas holidays.
Pawpaw had just gotten on his stand and I was headed to the old sawdust pile to sit and watch for deer. Before I could get to the stand I heard him shoot. Being young and excited, I almost flew back to his stand to see what he had shot.
Unfortunately the buck had seen him raise his rifle and took flight before he had a good shot. As I arrived back at his stand, he told me in no uncertain terms to get back down into the woods and start hunting.
After about 30 minutes of still-hunting back into the swamp, I came upon a creek.
While surveying the situation I suddenly heard a dog bark. As I froze, movement caught my eye to the right. It was a deer sure enough. As the old doe looped around in front of me, she turned and passed with 5 yards of where I was standing.
I was really primed and excited then. Suddenly my eyes picked up a strange sight coming through
the woods.
It was reddish colored and turned out to be a large set of antlers. Yes, the first thing I saw was the deer's rack.
As the buck followed directly on the doe's trail, I squeezed off the safety of my Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun. When he got to within 20 yards of me I pulled a fine bead on him just as he spotted me and stopped. One shot of 00 buckshot was enough to stop him in his tracks. The buck sported 7 nice points and was a fine one indeed for a young hunter, especially his first rack buck!
That was the first of many deer that I took while hunting with my grandfather, and one of many memories I have of him.
This is the first Christmas that I'll celebrate without Pawpaw being here. However, his love, wisdom and memories will remain with me forever.
Don't miss out on a chance to make some hunting memories with your own loved one. Take someone
hunting today. You'll be glad you did.
Mike Giles is an Outdoors writer for The Meridian Star.