I haven't had much time to spend on the board lately. Work has been crazy and I've been trying to get ready for hunting my first season in Alabama. It's a totally different experience than anywhere I've lived/hunted before (Nebraska, Indiana, Colorado). I wanted to share my experience with harvesting my first deer in Alabama on public land. I don't know if I've ever been more proud of a deer than I am of this little 8 point. I hunted 2 days of the primitive season on the WMA I hunt and hunted yesterday and today (general firearm season). I was starting to feel humbled by Alabama public land hunting with very few sightings despite seeing good amounts of promising sign. I was still hunting my way through a hardwood/pine transition but was really just scouting my way to a new area I had e-scouted. I caught sight of a couple does first and then I saw this buck with his nose right on another doe's rear. I could tell right away he was a legal deer (my goal for AL this year was ANY legal deer) so I dropped my pack and crawled to a wood pile (hoping there were no snakes hiding in there). I found a nice log for a rest and settled in for about a 75 yard shot with my trusty old 54cal Cabela's Hawken caplock. I let the smoke fly feeling just ok about the shot. Felt like I had rushed it a bit and couldn't tell for sure if I had hit him. I gave him a few minutes, grabbed by pack, and went to where he was standing. Hardly. Any. Blood. I spent over an hour trying to follow the blood trail but was finding only specks here and there before I lost the trail completely. Convinced I had put a bad shot on him, I decided to scout another area for a while to give him some more time. I came back to the last blood about 2 hours later and still couldn't find more blood. So I decided to just start canvassing the ridge it seemed like they all ran towards and found him about 75 yards from where he was shot. I was so relieved and excited to recover him. Shot was a little high but really not too bad.