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December 6, 2012

REDNECK QUAKER: First deer taken down by Booker

After I returned to the hunting cabin on a cold morning deer hunt, the wood burner was warming me as the coffee pot was perking. It put out the smell of fresh brewed coffee, making my taste buds tingle for the warmth and taste to come.

The temps were in the teens and the wind blowing so hard, the turkey buzzards were even grounded, I saw four buzzards just standing in an open field waiting for the wind to lay.

Let me set the stage before you hear the deer story.

Brandy Booker and Dan McGill are the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. They live on 24 acres that sits at the end of a mile-long lane, up an isolated holler in northern Vigo County. Turkey strut in the front yard and deer graze on the back hillside. I thought I could hear banjo music the first visit we had.

Dan enjoys working his sawmill doing custom wood cutting. Brandy takes care of less fortunate folks with every day needs. She has a big heart!

On Nov. 17, Brandy couldn’t wait to get to the woods, because she had to work that morning, so at 4:15 p.m. she put on her Real Tree camo, loaded her Remington 870 — 20 gauges — with deer slugs and headed up the hill behind the house to her well-placed deer tripod on a ridge overlooking God’s country.

The tripod’s seat swivels, but doesn’t have a cover or blind over it, so she has to sit real still. She hadn’t been in the stand 15 minutes when a 9-point buck and a doe was playing cat and mouse. Lets say they was on their honeymoon.

The buck stopped at 25 yards away presenting a perfect broadside shot. Brandy slowly lifted her gun into position and squeezed the trigger with the buck dropping off into a big holler. It started up the other side when he fell down and went to deer heaven. She made the perfect shot on her first deer.

Brandy laughed with great joy, saying neither of her brothers had harvested a deer. They dragged the big-bodied deer to the four-wheeler and up the steep hill, and she said it felt like going 150 yards instead of 15.

The next day, Brandy went back for more and saw a huge 8-pointer, with his horns going way up in the sky, and he had two does with him.

“Brandy, what did you feel after taking your first deer?” I asked.

“When he went down, I thought, oh my God I really got him; it was such a rush and a major accomplishment. Once you start hunting, it is in your blood, even if you don’t see anything, the peace and quiet with the sun going down is awesome. My first deer was a thrill of a life time,” she said.

Dan and Brandy go shed hunting also. Dan found one side of a rack that was a very large 8 pointer, scoring an easy 160 and Brandy went the same place two days later and found the other half! They are living a dream.

Kenny Bayless is an outdoors columnist for the Tribune-Star.

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