By Mark Kenyon

It’s nearly here. Months, weeks, days, hours. It seems like I’ve waited an eternity, but now my whitetail season is almost in reach. With two days yet to go, I was blessed last night with a preview of things to come and an early taste of the joys of the upcoming season.

As the darkness of night approached last evening, I headed back behind the house to fix a hole in our barn. While turning the corner around my house, I glanced into the soybean field out back and noticed the dark shape of a deer entering the field. I of couse needed a better look, so I snuck back to the truck, grabbed my binoculars, and settled in for a better view. With further examination I saw that it was a doe in fact walking across the field, with several others following close behind. Soon after a young six point buck emerged and headed in their direction as well. This was all well and good, but the excitement was about to pick up. I next noticed a shaking bush in the adjoining CRP. And after several minutes, a mature buck stepped from behind the pick-up truck sized bramble and began heading towards the younger buck on the edge of the field. My heart rate took an immediate turn North.

The cool breeze on my face, the brightening colors of fall emerging across the landscape, the smells of autumn seemingly arising from the nature all around me and a thick chested whitetail stepping into view. I was momentarily swept away in the intangible welcoming embrace of my favorite season.

But just as quickly as I had drifted away, I was snapped back to reality as the larger buck turned to face his junior companion, and slowly began stiff legging his way closer. They came head to head, slowly circled, paused… and then crash!

They locked horns, grinded, pushed and then released. Crash! They came together again, ripping apart the silence of the evening and sending my pulse skyrocketing. Then, as quickly as it started, it ended and the bucks separated. Chests heaving, hairs still on end, the bucks slipped back into the CRP and quickly disappeared.

The light around me faded and all I was left with was the sound of my heart beating nearly out of my chest and sweaty palms, that I now noticed were gripping the binoculars entirely too tightly.

The first heart racing moment of my season had come and gone, and I hadn’t even climbed a tree yet. Seems like 2012 is off to a pretty good start.

Have you had a heart pounding, sweaty palm, lung pumping moment of excitement yet this fall? Tell us about it in the comments!