Ryan stalked the huge stag grazing in the lush forest.  He expected a bear or a wolf in the verdant woods, but finding a buck here surprised him.  With a kill this size he would have venison until next spring.

The man knelt down, raised his rifle and adjusted the scope.  The deer stopped eating and perked its ears. Ryan kept still.  A bead of sweat rolled down his cheek. The deer  seemed to look right at him although he was half hidden behind a tree trunk.

His gaze accused Ryan. Ryan frowned, suddenly remembering his last kill, a pregnant doe. His finger caressed the trigger again. The stag lowered his head back to the mushrooms

Activating the rifle’s laser sight, Ryan took aim at his quarry. The deer spooked right before Ryan took his shot.  The stag ran a few feet, then looked directly at him.  It did not flee.  His eyes shined, eerily intelligent.  Sunlight formed a nimbus around the animal.  The hunter aimed again, and slid his finger back onto the trigger.

Something large knocked him over.  He looked up into the obsidian pits of a growling black bear.  Ryan’s shout of surprise cut short with one swipe of the bear’s paw. The next swipe savaged his throat.  He saw the deer finally flee as his vision narrowed to the forest floor in front of him.

With a kill this size the bear would hibernate until next spring. The predator began to feast on its prey.