Gene Palmer | New York

From The ReadersI harvested a prime male the very first time I set foot in the woods behind my fiancé’s house in South Dayton, New York. It was the first week of November and a perfect crisp fall morning for a hunt and scout. It was below freezing as the woods began to lighten, causing the freshly fallen leaves to crunch loudly at the slightest touch. A north-south running ravine goes right off the back lawn, so I began calling on the opposite ridge only 100 yards from the house.

My back was against a large black cherry with a western breeze in my face. Twenty minutes into my setup I heard a distant crunching approaching fast and the adrenaline button flipped on! Movement to my right — I’m ready! The 3X sight is acquiring the incoming, and I got a big surprise. A 200-pound 8-pointer came to my call! It wasn’t the first time this has happened, but at least the scouting was looking promising for the upcoming deer season. About 45 minutes later, another distant crunching was closing fast down the same trail to my right. However, this time there was a long tail attached to the incoming animal. When it was about 30 yards out I let out a squeak, causing him to slam on the brakes and look toward the shadow of death. He never even knew he got shot. The only sound was the impact of the 72-grain slug passing through his head and exiting in front of his shoulder, compliments of my silenced 25-caliber Talon Tunes Condor air rifle.


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