What started as a pleasant afternoon of hunting ended in one of the most bizarre episodes that has ever occurred at the Christmas Place Hunting Club.
I had spent the afternoon hunting at the end of the Spike Camp Area on a stand known as the Cheeseburger Stand. Don’t ask. It had been a mild afternoon and very late I had three does come out together into the field and start to feed. I was ready for a buck to follow, but as it got closer and closer to dark, nothing appeared. In the distance I could see a small but sinister looking storm cloud heading my way and when the winds kicked up I got ready to leave the field. The three deer had wandered back into the woods by then and it was finally too dark to hunt. I got down as the storm hit. Quick hard rain, rolling low clouds, and lightning seemed to all hit at once and I was drenched before I had gone 20 yards.
I stopped, opened my day pack and wrapped my rifle barrel in a trash bag, tied it, zipped up everything else and started slogging toward the 4 wheeler a half mile away. It was good dark ten minutes later and the rain had let up a little, but streaks of lightning still shot across the night sky right above me. I decided to not use my flashlight, and sneak out in hope of seeing a deer in the lightning flashes if it crossed in front of me.
Heavy misty fog drifted in as up the old logging road I went, passing through a large pine forest, then a section of hardwood and I had just reached the edge of the Spike Camp Field when I became aware of a beam of light in front of me. I stopped at the edge of the field and looked up in wonder. The light seemed to go from the middle of the field up into the night sky. Then I realized it went down and was spotlighting something on the ground. I could not see anything up in the air because of the low rolling clouds and mist, except for the steady beam of light. I looked to the middle of the field trying to figure out what was going on.
There was movement there of three or four dark shapes moving in and out of the beam of light. I could not tell who they were or what they were doing. Suddenly the light went out and I was left in total darkness. I think I saw several red flashes going from the ground up and disappearing. I am pretty sure, but the light had been so bright that I stood there half blinded.
It seemed that within 30 seconds the storm was gone, I had regained some sight and the sky was mysteriously almost clear. I stayed where I was for a few more minutes, then turned on my flashlight and yelled out. I got no answer and started heading toward the center of the field. I wanted to find out what the light had been focused on.
Lying in the center of the field was a large doe. The deer was obviously dead and I stood looking a minute before I approached her. I took the bag off my rifle first and crumpled it in my pocket. The rifle was still loaded and I felt better holding it in this weird setting.
I examined the deer and this (to me) is the strangest part of the story. The deer was still warm, both eyes were missing, the tongue and one jaw had been removed and both ears were gone. The lower part of both front legs had been cut off, and there was a small burned hole in the deer’s side. The tail was gone and the rectum had been cut out. There was no evidence of blood anywhere.
I knelt there thinking how strange this was, until a quick gust of wind swirled across my neck and back. My mouth went dry and my heart pounded as I glanced upward at the sky. Then I stood up, flicked my safety off and quickly left the deer and the field behind.
We went back the next day and dragged the deer away but have never figured out exactly what went on that strange night.