Not every hunt ends in a kill, but the hunter always comes home with a story. Some are short, others epic – like this one. But those stories are all special because they remind us what we really are, at heart – predators.
– genuine spunkybong quote
I had been in my tree stand nearly four hours, muscles cramped from sitting stock still, drained and famished, itching ta reach inside my Fanatic Hoody and pull out an O’Henry bar, hoping my camouflage wouldn’t give me away. The doe call on the IHunt app hadn’t worked and I had switched to Plan-B (rag soaked in the doe-in-heat pee) and hung it from a sapling on the far side of the clearing.
The northwest wind had been flipping red maple leaves around and now suddenly it had settled. The rustle of the saplings at the ends of branches quietened. The fox squirrels had been scurrying around, but suddenly they weren’t there anymore. Even the blue jays had quit their shrill piping and fallen into a hushed silence. Nothing stirred, until…
There he was. He was magnificent, must have been eight feet. I counted the antlers – definitely 15 points. The slightly out of kilter antler point on the left and the same imperious tilt of the head were the signature. My gut told me it was the one that the SpyPoint had caught, pre-season – the one I had named Zorba.
He didn’t plunge through the saplings or crash through the undergrowth – he just stood there facing me – twennie yards to the north, his front legs on the trail and the rear ones in the weeds. His large eyes – neither soft nor mean – seemed matter of fact, clearly visible through the Zeiss Victory. Fifteen soaring, tined points – 220 inches by 90 inches tall give or take – sheer majesty that a hunter prayed ta set his eyes on just once in his lifetime. The adrenalin made me feel like I was in the air, levitating over him. ‘It’s time…’ I breathed.
The Lapua was leaning against the guard rail of the stand to my right and I had ta twist my torso to reach for it and as I did, the weight shifted and the floor of the tree stand creaked. Zorba’s head whipped up in a jerk.
I was sure I was busted then, but the buck stared at a point past me, to the right. He stirred and it looked like he would soon begin moving directly toward me and I figured I would let him pass me by, right underneath where I sat. I would twist my torso around and take him soon as I had a clear shot. At ten yards, the soft nosed .306 round would get him where I needed it to – in the jugular.
But he just stood there and stared, for an honest five minutes…then he spun, as if on a heel, and slunk back into the ragweed and saplings. He came to a halt at fifty yards, circled over and stepped broadside into another small clearing and once again he just stood there – muscled, brawny and perfect. He was undecided. He had caught the scent of the rag and he had ta come check it out. I could have taken him then. At 50 yards, it was a cinch.
I had the Lapua positioned now, nestled against my shoulder, barrel steady on the guardrail, my Thinsulate gloved finger on the trigger. A trickle of sweat began running down the back of the heavy collar of the Fanatic Hoody and suddenly I felt very very hot. The urge ta remove my jacket, my gaiter, my crew singlet and let the chill cool my heaving chest down was overpowering.
But the message made me pause. It was a message that only I could understand. Still standing there at the edge of the clearing, his hooves far apart and his antlers thrown back, Zorba let out a curdling roar. It said, “Look at me, wannabe hunter mo–er f—cker. This is what a real whitetail buck looks like, see? And this is what you’ll never get ta have….” Then he turned and slunk off behind a copse of maples. Soon he was gone, out of my line of sight.
Drained, I turned and slouched, my back resting on the guardrail. I reached into my backpack, opened up the thermos and poured myself some of the coffee.
The coffee mug was suspended in the air inches from my lips, when the crash jerked me around. The bent left antler gave him away – it was Zorba and this time there wasn’t the same reticence in him. He crashed through the undergrowth, his antlers snagging here and there as he whipped them viciously around. He burst into the clearing and the first thing he did was raise himself up on his hind legs and let out an ear-splitting guttural growl of frustration.
In that instant I noticed his richard – thick, maybe four inches at the base, long and tapering, almost touching the ground. It was semi-hard, its weight bending it downward in an arc, ending in a hooded conical knob that was tiny, compared to the diameter at the base. The last six inches to the knob, the member was albino white. Behind it were two tennis ball-sized testicles that sagged at least six inches down from his crotch. As he repeatedly raised up on his hind legs, that thing swung and slapped against his thighs. He had caught the scent of the doe from the rag but where the fuck was the broad?
A good hunter is like a good actor, who learns ta speak his words or throw a punch instinctively, on cue. And this was my second cue – he was no more than fifteen yards from me and I could have taken him.
But passion – to want to make love – was a natural thing. Zorba was expecting ta do what he was born ta do. He was there ta take what was his by right. To deprive him of it would be so unfair. Entranced, my index finger slipping off the trigger, I slowly let my breath out, strangely unable to bring myself to end the life of something so human.
Then, seemingly out of control, the massive buck began to scratch and stomp on the ground. Stray leaves and dirt began flying all around, as he let out a series of grunts. I had seen whitetail bucks stomp before – it is a mating call. The stomping releases a scent from a gland – known as the interdigital gland – that is situated between the buck’s hooves and is designed ta attract a doe during season. The stomping and the secretion also sends an indirect message to other aspiring bucks – beat it, two is a crowd over here.
When he had had enough, the giant whitetail stopped and let out a long stream of noisy pee on the very spot he had cleared with his stomp-scratch routine. He then gave another resounding Grooaarrr, as if ta say,” Hey, baby, where the fuck are you?” Once in a while, he tilted his head to one side, cocked his ear and waited, front hooves planted in the middle of the pee stain on the ground and his rear hooves furiously scratching the ground as his rear slowly turned in an orbit around the pee stain. The Lapua Magnum, now forgotten, was lying on the floor of the stand, its safety on, as I stared down mesmerized.
And then Zorba suddenly froze, his antlers reared up and he stood stock still. To the left, the saplings stirred and a doe appeared.
She was a little more than half his size, her head low, her snout almost touching the ground. As she walked hesitatingly into the middle of the clearing she let out a continuous stream of strange soft cooing sounds that I was certain I hadn’t seen in the IHunt app.
I was expecting ta see Zorba grab her but he remained like a statue, quivering in anticipation, as the doe approached and stopped directly over the pee stain on the ground. Then her hind legs buckled, her butt came down a foot and she let loose a steady trickle that ran down the insides of her thighs and seeped into the ground, mingling with Zorba’s pee. It was a kinda ‘okay, tiger, let’s do it.’
As if he was coming out of a trance, Zorba moved at last. He whipped his head around raking the side of her neck with his antlers savagely and his snout made a beeline for the honeypot. The doe scrambled ta get out of his way but she didn’t attempt ta run from the clearing. She just hung around, shaking and quivering, jiggling her butt, letting his snout nuzzle her pussy and then teasing him by pulling back and keeping just a few inches from him as he lunged forward ta get at her – until all of sudden she seemed ta give in.
The rough stuff moved on to the gentle. Zorba went around her till they were facing each other and then, taking care not ta hurt her with his antlers, he began gently rubbing his cheeks against hers, his tongue slipped out and he licked the side of the doe’s neck. It was all exquisitely choreographed. They took their time, first rubbing cheeks, then necks and finally circling, their torsos bumping and grinding against each other.
We are so similar, I mused. Hawaii 1990 flooded into my brain. Shirley, in her lingerie, was the ‘damsel in distress’ and I was the ‘blood thirsty Bela Lugosi’ and we loved role play. It began with her running around the bed in mock terror and me snarling, giving her chase in my jockey shorts, pretending to try ta get at her but not quite able to grab her, a massive rounded bump growing inside my shorts.
Shirley kept giggling and scrambling, until she couldn’t take it anymore. She waded onto the bed on all fours and stooped forward till her nipples raked the frilly bed sheet, her knees spread wide open and her butt weaved drunkenly, high up in the air. Her mane of hair spilled over that beautiful face as she bent her head ta stare back at me. And then – her buttocks still swaying – she reached under, shoved her panties to one side and began rubbing the lips of her womanhood feverishly with her middle finger.
Watching Zorba and the doe, it struck me that, no matter how wild, how base their instincts might be, these two still understood the importance of foreplay and the rules it was governed by. And right now – like Shirley and I had – those two were enjoying the same process, the chase, the courtship. I was now an integral part of something exquisite that was playing out in front of me. Interrupt that? Never!
I let the third cue slip by. I was no longer me, I was Zorba.
(to be continued….)
ps: Don’t you dare miss Part-10, the final part. Will I manage ta take Zorba down?