It was late in the pheasant season. The corn and soybean fields were bare.
The pheasants were definitely gun-shy. Chessie (the Chesapeake Bay Retriever) and I were heading home. We were going up a long wash in the cornfield toward a distant wood. I already had one fat rooster and not expecting anything more. I wasn't paying much attention to Chess either. As she crested the hill I noticed that her nose was to the ground, and she was zigging and zagging. This told me she was on to something. I raced to catch up. Then I heard some mad barking. She didn't bark at pheasants. "Oh oh," I thought and hurried even faster. It had to be a skunk or some other kind of trouble. As I crested the top of the draw, it was trouble all right. The very worst kind for any dog in farm country. Chessie was streaking full tilt toward the woods after the biggest buck I had ever seen.
I hollered as loud as I could to no avail. The racing pair tore into the woods. Then the furious barking seemed to lesson. It didn't seem farther away. It was just a change in tone. Then there were sort of half whimpers. And out of the woods came my dog, with what was no doubt, a very ticked off deer right behind her.....both coming straight towards me.
"Well you see Mr. Game Warden, Sir. This huge deer, with gigantic antlers, was coming full tilt right at me and was only ten yards away, Sir, I had to shoot it, as my poor helpless little puppy was trembling there defenseless at my feet."
Hmmm.... nobody is going to buy that story.
I fired in the air over Mr. Big Bucks head. He stopped dead, I think noticing me for the first time. He turned his head looking back to the woods, then back at Chess and me. Whereupon, he once again turned toward the woods and slowly walked away.