Hunter: Zach Veazey
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
Thanksgiving Day was interrupted just as we were sitting down to lunch with a trip to the emergency room that lasted over three hours for my youngest daughter, Marlee, to receive medical care for a leg injury that required a few stitches. After being released from the hospital and assured that she would be fine, my oldest daughter, Tess, and I hurried to the stand for an afternoon hunt. Tess really enjoys going to sit with me but has always doubted whether or not she could be in the stand with me when I actually harvested a deer. We set out for a tower-stand that this particular buck frequented early in the season, but I realized on the way to the stand that there was not an extra seat in it. Because it was getting late, the closest option was a two-man ladder stand in a hardwood bottom close by. The stand had not been hunted in over a year, was never real popular among our family and I had never personally sat in it. After walking all over the hardwood bottom looking for it and cleaning out the leaves and limbs that had accumulated over the years, we finally got situated. We had been getting pictures of the buck on different cameras on both sides of this bottom for the week leading up to Thanksgiving, so I thought there would be a good chance he was passing through the area. Tess and I talk various different things in the stand. The subject of praying came up on this evening, and I told her I usually pray for a good hunt and just to see some deer when I’m in the stand, but today I was only going to ask God for healing for Marlee. After a few minutes, she told me she had also prayed. When I asked what she prayed for, she said, “Daddy, I prayed for Marlee to heal too, but I also asked God to let us see just one deer.” No more than five minutes had passed when Tess nudged me to let me know that she saw a deer walking toward us. After a few minutes of doubt and a complete inability to see the deer on my part, she was able to point him out to me. When he finally stepped out in an opening, I realized right away that it was the deer we were hunting; a buck that we had been getting pictures of and let walk for the past three years. I began to quietly ask Tess if I could shoot “El Chapo” as my uncle Todd had taken to calling him due to his ability to allude us, but she blurted out “shoot him Dad” before I could finish the question; a great ending to a truly special Thanksgiving hunt.