A Tough One
By Scott Eller


Scott's son Jacob with the buck Scott took on his memorable Oregon hunt.

... Have you ever had the flu so bad you thought you were going to die? or wish you were dead? well that's how I felt Sunday night after hiking almost six miles looking for one of our beloved Blacktails to shoot and not seeing a single deer, not even a old doe. What the hell made me get up at 4:30am Monday and try again I'll never know---but I'm glad I did! We hunted the Roseburg area that morning and saw several does and one small fork, I still felt horrible and was running a fever but I had been waiting for weather like this all year and I was not going to let the damn flu keep me home.
At about 10:30am I told my uncle that we should head up to Horseshoe bend and see what we could round up. I know of some good places to walk into up there and with the snow that I knew would be covering the ground I thought we might do some good.
Well to keep from dragging this story out any longer I'll get to the good stuff, at about 3:00pm and a mile or more from my pickup I was glassing a old clear-cut when I thought that I had finally become so ill that I was hallucinating for there about 250 yards down the hill was this nice buck bedded down in the snow looking back at me and he wasn't any scrawny little forkin horn either. "Mary mother of Jesus" I thought (OK so he wasn't one of those "OH SH#@" bucks but a Mary mother of Jesus buck is still a fairly nice deer) now 250 yards at a steep downhill angle is not my idea of an easy shot but I plopped my ass down in the snow, got a good steady rest on my knees and eased the safety on the old 721 off. At the shot the buck exploded from his bed and landed on his back, I jacked another round into the 30-06 but by that time he was up again and headed down the hill with several other deer through the thick second growth, then it was dead quiet.
Have you ever tried to make your way down through about a fifteen year old clear-cut laced with downed logs and thick brush in about five inches of fresh snow, well it aint any friggin' fun, I darn near killed myself several times. I finally found were the deer had been bedded and it was obvious that he was a hurtin' unit, the shot had been good and tracking him was a piece of cake. I found him down in the bottom by the creek.
As I sat next to him down in the dark timber with the creek gurgling and the snowflakes drifting down through the old growth a tear slid down my cheek. Do you think I was caught up in the moment, was crying out of happiness because we are able to hunt such a awesome animal---(what do you think I'm some kind of a sissy)---hell no, I just realized that I had about a three mile walk back to my truck and that was enough to make any man cry.
Well luckily three angel's of mercy (other hunters) came by when I got to the lower road and gave me a ride back to my pickup were Ray was waiting for me. By the time we got my truck down to the deer (luckily I have a Ford, a Dodge or Chevy never would have made it, LOL)got him loaded, home, skinned, and cleaned up it was almost midnight and I was in worse shape than the deer was, thank God the season is over, It will take me a year to recover.