Thursday, Nov. 15 found Culley and Faith Powers hunting from a ground blind in Tarrant County. Nothing was too out of the ordinary: deer decoy, rattling horns and a well-hidden blind were all a part of the set up.
But what set the pair apart was that Faith Powers was eight months pregnant, yet set on harvesting a good buck. And after a close call on Thursday, the couple headed back on Friday to pick back up where they left off.
“Friday found Faith and I climbing into the same stand as Thursday,” Culley said. “I put the decoy to the left of us, almost in our down-wind scent stream, and sprayed it with doe estrus. In my rush to get to the stand I had left the ears and tail of the decoy in the truck.”
Culley had also forgotten to take off his prescription sunglasses, leaving his normal glass behind as well.
“Since I figured that the deer would be moving early, I just went with it and hoped the bucks would be deep enough in the rut that a doe with no ears wouldn’t alarm them, and that it would all go down before it got too dark for me to see,” he said.
After a while, Faith saw a buck and said “incoming to the left.”
Close to the decoy was a young buck eyeballing Jezebel, the decoy. The buck was visually nervous, but once it picked up on the estrus it headed right toward them. Then, Faith’s buck appeared.
“When he finally broke from cover at 200 yards, he was standing broadside staring at the decoy,” Culley said. “Since I had forgotten the decoy’s ears and her tail in the truck, he probably wasn’t too impressed with her beauty. My hopes where that if a buck got that close he would wind check her, and he did. When he smelled the estrus he was hooked, although he was still very, very nervous.”
The closer the buck got, the more nervous he became, and he finally retreated back to his 200-yard spot.
“The smell wouldn’t let him leave, but he sure wanted to,” Culley said.
But then the buck decided he had enough, and started to head off.
“I was nervous for Faith to take a 200 yard shot at him, but he was leaving for sure,” he said. “Faith said she had the shot, so I told her to take it.”
After a short wait, during which Culley harvested his own small buck, the pair decided to go look for Faith’s buck, since it was getting dark and Culley only had his sunglasses to wear.
They soon found the buck, which Faith quickly nicknamed “Heartburn.”
“Faith has had the most horrible heartburn with her pregnancy, but watching the buck in the scope for so long waiting on a shot flared it up like molten lava,” Culley said. “Standing there watching the sun go down, her buck and mine in the truck bed, reliving the whole thing; I couldn’t be prouder of this wonderful woman that I call wife. Her first buck, and our first double.
“She will shoot many deer in her lifetime to come, but this season will be the one that always makes her smile.”