I was lying in ambush being totally still
When the red deer wandered into the glade
A handsome young buck about three years old
With fine youthful antlers he proudly displayed.
He was among a few other young juvenile deer
But he was clearly the one that stood out
And in a few years time at the annual rut
He’d be a new leader I’d got no doubt.
He already stood with that majestic stance
On his antlers the rights showed fine bearing
And when the others trotted with him for company
It was almost a smile he was wearing.
But he was mine now and I’d earned him well
I’d waited for him the whole of the night
And there in the centre of my reticule
He was standing alone in full sight.
I was fully prepared for what I was to do
My kit all in camouflage as was I
And just at the moment the young buck looked up
I shot and caught him in his perfect eye.
The slight sound from my camera spooked him
In a flash he vanished into thin air
But when I looked at the screen on the camera
His image was noble and was there.
It is ten years now since I shot him
And a fine leader he went on to be
I sometimes catch sight of him up on the hill
And just for a while he’s looking at me.
©Joe Wilson – The shot… 2014