You could hear other deer in the thicket behind them, and for the briefest of moments, I caught just the glimpse of the tall rack of a nice buck. I brought the Hawke Endurance 3-9×40 scope to my eye and caught the right side of the rack in the crosshairs for just a moment through the brush, but the buck never came out.

Meanwhile, the doe and fawn showed no fear at all and got close… very close.

A whitetail fawn walked directly under the tree stand of Bearing Arms editor Bob Owens in a December, 2014 hunt sponsored by Hawke Sport Optics.

After a little while, our guide Rob texted me from his ground blind north of my stand to let me know that another group of deer was moving in my direction, and would be coming up behind me. I stood very slowly… a neat trick when you’re try to keep from spooking deer that were literally under my feet.

I waited and waited, and the doe and the fawn wandered back the way they came. The herd that Rob saw never came my way, and instead of cutting through the trail in the thicket between us, followed the far edge of the thicket to bed down in the marsh.

A couple of hours later we called it a morning without anyone seeing a deer worth shooting. Hey, you can’t win them all. editor Katie Pavlich and guide Rob Freyer. An Arizona native, Katie doesn’t like the cold.

That evening we moved to different locations, hoping to save the island for first light the following day.

For the afternoon hunt, Rob put me in a ladder stand in an overgrown hedgerow with a pasture behind me and a farm field that had been left fallow for the year in front of me. It was roughly 100 yards to the far treeline, and the field stretched several hundred yards on either side of me. If I deer walked out in front of me, it would be a great test of the Endurance 3-9-40 scope’s Slug Gun SR Reticle.

The view from the hedgerow ladderstand during the afternoon hunt during my first day hunting with Hawke Sport Optics in Maryland.

As the evening faded to dusk, my only company had been a gaggle of annoying brown birds searching through the leaves below may stand for food. Suddenly, I caught a flash of movement in the distance to my right out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head, and could just make out the shape of a deer against grass almost the exact same shade as her body. If I hadn’t seen the movement, I could have looked right at this deer and not have had a clue it was there.

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