The Shoemaker Buck
Orleans County 16-Point

By Grant Shoemaker

Three years ago my father passed away. The last words my dad had for me before the "I love you" was take my gun and shoot the biggest buck you'll ever get with it on our property. I promised him I would. Three long drawn out years of passing deer, hitting a 170 inch in the second year losing him brought me to this year 2017. 

Sicker than ever I went out day and night, coughing, and not seeing a thing. I was getting some good ones on camera though. Well the day of Nov. 29th came and the morning hunt was a bust. I left at 2 pm to head back depressed, praying and wondering if it would ever happen. It became my second job and seemed no longer fun. I went to the back line of the property and kicked up four big doe... "figures". Something told me to head back early in case I saw something I could shoot during legal time. 

I'm headed back and when I hit the first field I kicked a button buck on my right and one on left. The one on right crashed into the water as it happened and I heard something huge break threw the brush and water headed toward our "tower stand" a quarter mile away. I took two steps and something said, "Grant.., RUN!" So I ran and ran.

I hit the upper field ran across the field headed north, passed the thicket line and into the tower. I wasn't yet on the platform, but with my feet still on ladder when I looked 200 yards out through the woods and brush to see a huge doe headed east and behind her came a huge buck.

Now on the platform I stand thinking, "Yeah right, 200 plus yards with a 16 gauge?" Then another doe, then this slob! With only a hole the size of a football to make the shot, it was my only chance. So, when he stepped in I let her rip. I Flew down ladder, ran threw the water only to find nothing, looking every where. 

I started walking east a bit in some thick stuff. I turned to face south and looked back to my left  and I won't say what I said, but he was standing twenty yards away with his head tipped back. I never turned so fast and let four quick ones ring out. Down he went... along with me to my knees and cried like a baby. I Laid my dad's gun and picture on him and we just sat there into the dark for an hour and a half until my group came to me from all over. Over 20 guys came to help me. I'll  never forget it as long as I live!

Grants Buck weighed in at 195 lbs. dressed and green scores 188-3

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