I could have walked right by. I have many times, only to hear a thump and a snort, the crack of a limb too late. This day, my eye caught an ivory arc. Without slowing—my step was already slow—I brought the binocular up, saw the buck and eased my rifle from my shoulder as I slid behind conifers.
He wasn’t hidden, just hard to see. Bedded in tall grass among scattered saplings and pines, he was mostly exposed. But the slot that gave me a glimpse passed so quickly, I’d have missed the look had my head been turned.
Bellying through thick bluestem, I slinged up at 100 yards, then crawled to a hump, parting the grass with my rifle. He’d seen me walking. My unhurried, uninterrupted step hinted he’d gone unnoticed. But he was a whitetail and would assume nothing. Presently, he stood. The reticle shuddered. I fired.