Fourth-generation hunter bags first buck
My son, Mason, shot his first deer, a button buck. We got on our stand late, after picking Mason and sisters up from school. Then Mason and I headed right to the woods. We arrived at the stand just after 4 p.m. We put out scent on our way and hun...
My son, Mason, shot his first deer, a button buck.
We got on our stand late, after picking Mason and sisters up from school. Then Mason and I headed right to the woods.
We arrived at the stand just after 4 p.m. We put out scent on our way and hung up burlap to conceal us. I continued teaching Mason how to use the deer calls.
At about 4:40 p.m., Mason was facing one way and I the other, both standing. I said, "Mason, deer." He looked at me like he thought I was tricking him, after all the times I had him in the deer stand and we have never had a deer come into view. So I said again, "Mason, I'm serious, get ready, a deer is coming!"
So I helped him get the gun ready and began talking him through the shot. The deer was on a steady walk, so time was of the essence. I told him to take the shot when he was ready.
"BANG" ... The shot startled me just like the first time I was in a stand as a child. I saw the deer jump and then run off.
We were unable to find the deer on Thursday night after searching the immediate vicinity. It was out of view quite quickly, so we had little idea of its direction. As we were losing light fast, we decided to come back and look for it after our morning hunt.
I talked to Mason about what we needed to do to search for his deer, uniquely when we didn't have the aid of tracks by snow or any blood trail to follow. So we headed in the direction we thought the deer took when we last saw it. After about half-hour of searching and walking, we found nothing. I told Mason we were looking for brown laying flat on the ground, something out of the ordinary in the surroundings.
We came back to our starting location and did a 90, searching in a different location. Heading down another tree line and edge, I was just about ready to give up the search, feeling we could do nothing more. Then I looked up ahead about 25 yards and spotted what we were looking for, the deer lying dead in the yellow grass.
As a dad and a deer hunter, I could not be more thrilled to be a part of this moment with my son. He was smiling ear to ear. I only wish his Grandpa Larry was here to share in the moment as well, but I know he was looking down on us and smiling from above.
One additional note: Mason was using a very special gun this season, a .243 bolt action given to him by Lana Grinden, It was last used in November 2014 by John Grinden, my very good friend and mentor who we lost suddenly in February 2015.