1st Buck... of a Lifetime

by Brian Kiefer
(Fremont, NY... Steuben NY)

I grew up around hunting. From my great uncle, cousins and father I started around 14-15 years old, going out with all the "big boys" trying to learn the ways of the woods. I'd watch year after year family members come home with big bucks or big does, thinking some day, I hope to do the same. Unfortunately, my mind and life took me elsewhere, and hunting became a thing of the past.

The past 3 years I told myself I wanted to get back to some of my "country boy" roots a little bit, be apart of opening day rituals, be back with my cousins and be back hunting with my father. I've seen more deer harvested by my two cousins and father, than most ever dream about. I've only ever taken does, had very slim opportunities to take a buck, I just figured when I'm due, I'm due.

Opening day '14 was my day... One of my best friends called on my radio saying there's a buck coming toward you on the ridge. I looked to my left, down a ways, and all I saw was a deer "jogging" on the lower ridge of our wetlands. I saw he had hardware, but wasn't there to figure out how many. I shoot a stock 870, iron sights. I pulled up on him, waited for my shot, and squeezed one off at about 50 yards... He dropped, slid 15 feet and was down.

Once the smoke cleared and I started to walk cautiously over his way, it suddenly hit me something really large was sticking out of his head! Not thinking I grabbed my PTT mic on my headset and made a call on the radio no one will forget, "oh my god....I think I'm going to need some help!" My first buck lay there at my feet... 12 points and all...

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