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Buck fever

Perryville’s Ida Rose has her sights set on big game and the one that got away

This article was published September 30, 2010 at 6:00 a.m.

Don’t tell Ida Rose it’s too late to learn something new. After years of going to deer camp and watching the boys bag the bucks, she’s recently become one of the top hunters in her camp at bringing home the bacon — or venison, as the case may be.

In 2008, Rose, who lives in Perryville, decided to get in on the hunting after her son convinced her she would do well. She had been afraid to start because of a shoulder surgery on her rotator cuff and thought the gun would hurt her.

“I said, ‘[The gun] will kick,’” she said. “And he said, ‘No it won’t. It’ll be just like shooting a .22.’”

After getting oriented with her grandson’s gun, she joined her husband in the woods one morning. She said they saw several deer, but it wasn’t until her next trip that she bagged her first one. It was a small deer, but bigger game was still in store.

Later in the season, Rose was once again in the woods when a doe and its fawn walked out of the trees. After she watched the two for a few minutes, another deer stepped into view — a very large buck.

She made sure to count the points, because club rules state that a buck must have two points on each side of its antlers. This deer was an eight-point. Raising her rifle, she waited for the buck to turn its side to her.

It turned. She fired. The deer ran, wounded.

Rose called her husband and son. The deer was tracked 75 yards into the woods.

“After that I knew what [people meant] when they talked about “buck fever,” she said.

Last year, Rose didn’t have the same luck as she did with the eight-point. She did kill two doe and caught a glimpse of her next target: a 12-point buck.

“I was just getting ready to get down from my stand, and it was like you could feel something looking at you,” she said. “I turned my head just a little because I could see something out of the corner of my eye.

“And there was the biggest, hugest monster you’ve ever seen in your life,” she said. “I couldn’t believe my eyes.”

The deer had walked out on the side of the stand where there was no camouflage screen, so when Rose turned her head to get a look, the deer spotted her and fled.

Rose said that since then, no one has seen the buck, but she’s out to bag it this fall.

“I’m aiming for him,” she said, “and I want to get him first. I hope nobody else sees him.”

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