So I got up early last Thursday and walked out into the woods, in the dark, and climbed into my treestand. I sat absolutely still for about an hour until I could hear footsteps in the dark. I closed the bolt on my rifle and waited. In about a minute I could make out a small buck and a smaller doe in the small clearing beneath the stand. I watched both but could tell that both deer were very small and decided to give these deer a pass in the hope of getting something larger. I climbed down about 8:15 and walked to the top of a nearby hill. I sat down at the base of a small tree to see what might come along. I immediately noticed a very small squirrel coming down the log in front of me. The squirrel came closer and closer until I wondered if he'd come all the way down the log to where I was sitting. At the last moment he seemed to notice that something was wrong and froze. It was at that moment that I looked beyond the squirrel and noticed a herd of deer on a hillside about 100yds from where I was sitting. I found a large doe in my scope and steadied my rifle to take the shot. The rifle discharge caught me by surprise and I looked up to see a good-sized herd of deer bounding out of sight into the woods. I watched to see if one looked like it might be struggling to keep up with the others. After they were out of sight I walked over to the spot where the doe had stood and looked for signs that she might be wounded. Nope. It was a clean miss. No deer today.
I truly am thankful for the meat provided by any deer I kill. I don't have a preference for bucks over does since I'm not in it for trophies. I'll be out again next week hoping for something to put in the freezer.