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Up a tree

9/29/2010

Editor's note: To accompany Deer Camp 2010, we've asked athletes, prominent figures and outdoorsmen to relate their first deer kill.

Tommy Biffle has been one of the best anglers on the Elite Series over the past several seasons, notching three victories, the most recent in his backyard on Fort Gibson Lake in Oklahoma. As one of only four angler to qualify for the Toyota Trucks Championship Week for two straight years, Biffle has proven that he is one of the more consistent anglers on tour.

One of my first deer hunting experiences was when I was 12 years old with a guy that started me bow hunting. I can remember one time we walked out into a place we call Camp Gruber, it's an army base but you can bow hunt on it.

We went out scouting and walked all around and looked all around. That afternoon we climbed a tree and he said he would come get me at dark. It came a bad storm and that's back when you sat on the tree branches, so we didn't have any stands or anything. It was raining so hard, I just sat over and humped up, pulled my hood up over my head.

I guess I fell asleep and he never came and got me and when I woke-up it was 9 o'clock at night. I did not know which direction to go, where the highway was, anything.

I just got out and started walking and luckily I walked the right direction and I got to hearing the cars on the road. I made it to the road, walked down the road and happened to find the car and he was in there drunk. That was my last time I went with him.

That was just one of my first times hunting. My first kill was a pretty neat deal. It was with a gun, a little ole 30-30, and it was a little ol' 6-point buck. I was hunting in the back of a cove over at Tenkiller Lake and it just started to snow.

I was in a tree that was really neat. It was a great big tree, but the top was broke out and it had a big hole that had grown over to where it almost made a real comfortable seat. You had two branches there to put your feet on, somebody had put a stand in there years before and there was an old board up in there and it squeaked, so during bow season I took the board out and threw it out on the ground.

I got to messing with my raincoat trying to put it on cause it was snowing pretty hard and I dropped the top on the ground. I crawled down the tree and this guy goes, "Here," and handed me my top to my rain suit.

"You're in my tree," he said.

"How you figure that?" I was like 12 years old at the time.

The guy I was hunting with had told me if anybody comes up or comes around or tells you get down or whatever, don't get down. So I took the rain suit top, crawled back up in the tree and sat down up there.

"You're in my tree," that guy said again.

"Well, I don't know what to tell you but I'm here."

He messed around there and he walked off right at daylight. I look up and he's about less than 50 yards from me. I can see his orange up there in a tree. We sat there and saw some does and stuff.

Over on the hillside, they start shooting at this little ol' buck, and he runs down and comes down across the back of the cove, stopping out in front of me about 80 yards and behind the big old cedar tree. I lay the gun there on a branch and it doesn't have scope, it's just iron sights, and waited for him to come out behind that tree.

When he did, he came out running and I had it right there on it, right there at the tree, and when he come out "blam, bunk." So I got down and walked over there to him. The guy that was going to get in that tree walks up and he said he never saw the deer even though the deer wasn't 30 yards from his tree.

Then the guy that I was hunting with heard me shoot and comes down there. He had to go back up the hill on the other side to get the car and bring it around, and the guy that was gonna run me out of that tree ended up taking me to his house and giving me some hot chocolate. That was my first deer.