Jacob wanted to hunt out of the stand where his father was and had to “settle” for a monster 11-pointer.
It was the second day of shotgun season in Illinois, and I had a basketball game at 8 a.m. Dad had gone ahead without me, so when the game was over, I rushed home to get all my hunting gear together and go out to my stand. I am not able to go hunting much during the week because of school, so I was pumped for the afternoon hunt.
Before heading out, I decided to stop at the annual family deer camp breakfast, where all the hunters get together to discuss where everyone will go and to tell stories of hunts long past. Dad was there, so after we ate, we packed up our gear and headed to the woods.
Dad and I always pick stands based on the wind. I picked the stand that we see the most deer from, and Dad picked the stand that I originally wanted. I climbed up into my stand at 11 a.m., planning to stay put until dark. I sat there about an hour before I saw my first deer of the day, a doe and two fawns. We had seen those deer almost every time someone was in that stand, so it wasn’t a surprise.
Around 2:15, I heard a shot from the direction of my dad’s treestand. Then, 30 seconds later, his voice came over the radio saying, “I got him! I got Drop Tine!” I was happy for Dad, but I was also feeling a little mad that I hadn’t been in that stand. Drop Tine was a big deer — the biggest buck my dad has ever shot — and I would have been proud to put my tag on him.
I got over my frustration by thinking how great it would be to take an even bigger buck and finish up the day with a father-son double. I called my uncle on the radio to see if he was going to go look at my dad’s deer. He told me he was going to keep hunting, which helped my resolve to stay in the stand.
Not long after Dad and my grandpa left to go show off my dad’s deer, I heard something running in my direction. My heart started to pound, but it was only the doe and fawns I had seen earlier. I settled back to finish out the day but finally decided it was time to call it quits. I got down a little early, thinking there was always tomorrow.
As I was heading back to the truck, the snap of a breaking branch brought me up short.
I looked and saw a massive rack moving above the tall grass. There was a treestand about 15 yards down the trail from me, so I ran to it and climbed up as fast as I could. When I finally got up there and looked, I saw a huge 10-pointer about 85 yards from the stand. I quickly raised my gun and made a poorly aimed shot. Luckily the buck only jumped back about 10 more yards, so I took careful aim and pulled the trigger again. “Click!” I was so nervous that I forgot to put another shell in the gun.
Once I found bullets and loaded my gun, I couldn’t believe my good fortune. The buck was still in the same spot. I held the gun steady and pulled the trigger. “Boom!”
I watched the buck take off into the woods and made sure to mark the spot in my mind. Papa then came on the radio, and I told him what happened.
He asked if the buck’s tail was up or down as it ran off. I told him it was down, so he said that I probably got it.
I climbed down and met Papa, Dad, and my uncle. We grabbed some lights and headed to where I saw the deer go into the woods. It took a while, but Dad finally found some blood. Once I heard those words, my heart started to race so fast that I thought it was going to jump right out of my chest.
When we found my deer, I knew right away that it was not only the biggest deer I had ever seen, but that it was also bigger than the buck Dad had taken earlier. Everybody congratulated me, which made me incredible happy. The first person I thanked was Papa, because it is his property that we hunt on.
Dad and I finally got what we were after the whole season — monster bucks. There is no better way to experience hunting than to shoot a monster buck with your dad. Read Recent Articles:
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This article was published in the October 2007 edition of Buckmasters Whitetail Magazine. Join today to have Buckmasters delivered to your home.