Opening Morning Buck

by Dakota Tucker
(Stockbridge, New York)

It was opening morning in the Southern Tier on November 17, 2011, and a day that I will treasure for the rest of my days.

I've sat on the same fallen tree every year since I began hunting at age 15 and have seen a lot of deer at this spot. But, none compare to the buck I shot this opening morning.

It was cold and very windy when I went to my spot well before sunrise. I sat until about 7:30 and heard shots start ringing out from all around me. One shot from the left, then more shots to the right. I knew the deer were moving. As I heard the last shot to the right I heard crashing coming from my right. I waited and along came a doe, trotting nose to the ground and tail up.

When I was younger I was taught that if a doe came out with a tail up, wait, there is probably a buck behind her. So that's exactly what I did. And, not a minute later a big buck jumped the fence about 100 yards away from me.

I was hunting with a lever action 30-30 with no scope. I pulled up and aimed right for his boiler room. I gave a good loud blat. The buck stopped and stood looking at me broadside. I took my shot and he immediately went down. The Madison County buck dressed out at 245 lbs and rough scored 127. He is perfectly symmetrical on each side.

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