The Stone Mountain Deer

By Luke Boyd

They call it Stone Mountain. It's a big mountain made entirely of granite, and it's completely round.

I’ve never seen anything like it before or since. It’s a sight to look at.

Now, as amazin’ as that mountain was, there was somethin’ just as amazin’ that lived on it. A big buck deer with the biggest rack on his head that anybody had ever seen. Those that had seen it said it was as big as a rockin’ chair.

I asked some of the local folks why nobody hadn’t shot that buck and put that trophy on their wall. They said that many had tried, but none had been successful. They said they had decided that it was impossible to shoot that buck because he was too fast. He had a trail about halfway up that mountain that he ran round on. When somebody came to hunt him, he would start runnin’ around the mountain so fast that it took two people to see him. One had to say, “Here he comes.” And the other had to say, “There he goes.” They had tried every way in the world to shoot him, but none worked. If you tried to shoot straight at the mountain, he’d be gone before you could pull the trigger. Some had thought they could line up with the trail and shoot at him as he ran by. They tried that, but he would outrun the bullet and go on around the mountain while the bullet went straight on out into space. There just wasn’t any way to kill that deer.

Well, y’all know how I love to hunt deer, and I’ve killed my share. I just knew there had to be some way to get that buck. So I had them take me out there so I could see for myself. Everything they said was true. That deer was so fast that when he started runmn’ around that mountain, you couldn’t even see him the first few times around. You knew he was comin’ by ’cause you could hear the clippity clop of his hooves on that granite. After a few trips, you could see somethin’ go by, but you couldn’t make out that it was a deer. It was just sort of a brown flash as he went by.

I walked around and studied the situation for a while, and decided that the only chance you’d have of hittin’ that buck would be to get the bullet to follow the same trajectory as the deer. Since the mountain was completely round, I measured the degree of its curve. Then, I took my rifle to a gunsmith and had him bend the barrel that many degrees to the left, since that buck always ran in a counterclockwise direction.

It took me a coupla days to get this done. By this time a whole bunch of people had heard about what I was doin’, so they all came out to see how my plan would work. I got my gun all set up. I wedged the barrel in a tree fork and scotched it steady once I got it in line with the curve of the mountain. I was ready. Before long, that buck came by. As one hollered, “Here he comes,” I started to pull the trigger. The gun fired just as the other fellow yelled, “There he goes.” And in an instant, both deer and bullet were gone around the mountain.
In a few minutes we heard the deer come by again, but we didn’t hear just the sound of his hooves on the granite. What we heard was: “Clippity clop, Zing.”

The “Zing” was the bullet following the deer. This went on for several trips.

“Clippity clop, Zing.”
“Chppity clop, Zing.”
“Clippity clop, Zing.”

Before long, he began to slow down so we could see the flash as he went by. We could still hear the “Zing,” so we knew the bullet was still after him.

After a little while, he’d slowed down so that you could barely make him out and the “Zing” was still there.

Finally, he slowed down so that you could really see him. He was a fine specimen of a deer. He was stretched out with his head back and that big rack sort of layin’ on his shoulders. And then, I saw the bullet. It was about ten feet behind him and it was workin’ so hard to keep up, until drops of sweat as big as the end of your finger were fallin’ off it.