By Mark Rockwell
My family had lost our Father to pancreatic cancer in August of 2012. After so many deer seasons spent together in the woods, the 2012 season was basically just going through the motions for us. No one really cared about deer hunting a whole lot at that moment.
I had entered the 2013 season with a renewed vigor, dedicating my entire season to my Dad. I set my goals early on. Dad had a bow which he never had the chance to shoot a deer with, so I pulled it from its case and began sighting it in. The goal was to shoot something for Dad with his bow...buck, doe, it didn't matter.
The first part of season was warm and the deer movement was slow. We moved stands religiously trying to find the right spot. November 2nd started off like all the other morning sits had. I was perched 25 feet off the ground on a piece of NY State Land in Tioga County not far from the house. A little after 8am, I saw 4 deer coming my way. Three of them (does) wandered by just out of bow range. I looked back to find out where the fourth deer had gone and saw it was a buck... heading right for my shooting lane.
As I came to full draw, he stepped into my shooting lane and I sent an arrow his way. The shot was a little far back (something we had raked my Dad over the coals about for years because of one of his previous bucks). The buck staggered towards the stand and dropped about 15 yards away broadside. I nocked another arrow and put this one right in the breadbasket. The buck staggered another couple of feet and died right under my stand. I counted the points from the stand...an awesome 10 point!!! Then the emotions hit me, shaking, crying, more shaking... I had accomplished my goal and honored my Father with an outstanding buck. It is a story I will never forget.
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