Abbeville, MS> Several years ago, when we still hunted near Abbeville, we found a great place to hunt east of the railroad in a very hard to reach area.
My father, Hershel, went into this area and built 4 stands in this hidden spot along a narrow sand ditch that wound under the Railroad tracks and down to a small pond.
Going in, we drove a mile along old rutted roads we had cleared, hiked a few hundred yards to the railroad, went up that about 100 yards, then slid down the bank to the creek.
This turned out to be a fabulous bow hunting spot, and it wasn’t long till we realized that a gigantic and cunning buck lived there.
Everyone that hunted there had a chance to see the gigantic buck at least once, but he was so smart and clever that the dark colored and tremendous 10-point, could almost sense you and could disappear like a shadow. So his name was born and we told tales and hunted him for years with no success.
This little story is about my meeting with The Shadow.
The end of the sand ditch emptied into a small pond that I liked to hunt. My stand was in a tree that leaned out over the water and deer watered there almost everyday.
It was about 8:00 on a bright, sunny and still day when I heard the deer hit the ditch about 40 yards behind me. It got quiet for a long time as I eased around and got ready to shoot.
We used recurve bows back then and spent a large part of each summer shooting at targets. I felt confident in my ability to shoot a deer. I wasn’t ready for what happened next.
The nice 8-point eased into the opening at 25 yards. The trail would move the deer to about 20 yards. Perfect as I prepared to shoot.
Another buck popped out, a nice 6-point. I glanced at it and just before I pulled back my bow, a small buck and a really big 8-point stepped out behind the other two. I had more bucks under me than I had ever seen in my whole life. I pulled back the arrow.
Whoooshhh! The arrow went right under the first 8-point.
The deer jumped around and then all froze. Grabbing another arrow I aimed at the closest deer in the group..
Whoooshhh! The arrow cut right in front of the 6-point.
Deer started to jump around again as I grabbed my last hunting arrow. The first 8-point had seen enough and broke for heavy cover, The other three were milling around and the 6 point sniffed my arrow. It took off, followed by the small buck. The big 8-point started past me picking up steam as it moved up the trail.
Whoooshhh! The arrow sailed right over it’s back. The deer were all gone. It grew quiet as they disappeared and I felt terrible. A herd of bucks and I had run out of arrows. I got down and walked over to look for my arrows. I searched for a few minutes and located an arrow. Before I could pull it out of the grass, a strange feeling hit me and I looked up.
Not twenty feet away in the middle of the trail, watching me, stood the biggest buck I had ever imagined. During all the action this buck had stood statue still just inside the thick trees and had waited to see the danger. I straightened as I caught the bucks eyes.
The huge, heavy horned buck did not run, he turned and stepped back into the ditch and disappeared like a wisp of smoke. He did not make a sound, not a leaf or limb cracked, no white flag bounded away, he disappeared like a Shadow.