I sat on a deer stand in Alabama last Saturday morning watching some does and a small buck feeding in a field of clover. My standards are pretty high when it comes to bucks so I allowed him to survive until next year.
Once the activity began to diminish later in the morning I foolishly allowed my mind to wander, and as a result I lost my focus.
On the far side of the field, a little distance up the road that led into the field, I could see something moving – but I couldn’t tell just what it was. At first I moved to raise my rifle and put the scope on it, but then the thought occurred to me that it was pretty far away and perhaps I should get a better look thru my binoculars. I wasted valuable seconds reaching for my high dollar peepers.
What leaped into view was a beautiful ten-point rack that any hunter would be proud to hang over the mantle. In the split second that elapsed as I realized what I was seeing, the big fella adjusted his course and steered into the brush alongside the road and disappeared forever into the forest.
From the first sighting of “something moving” until the last image of his hindquarter vanishing into the greenery, no more than five seconds passed by. But if I had followed my first instinct and put the rifle scope on target rather than the binoculars, I would perhaps be posting a different picture here this morning.
Loss of focus, even for a moment, can mean the difference between success and failure. And that’s true of more than just deer hunting.