By Gary Young
On November 18 2017 I shot my first deer ever. I now realize that it will be hard to go up from here.
It started a couple years ago with stories from my parents (both non-hunters) of a large buck on their property. My father swore he was at least 10 points maybe more. I saw him a couple times myself, but at the time I hadn’t taken up hunting yet. Last year was my first year hunting and I got skunked. I wasn’t sure of my shooting ability and didn’t want to wound a deer and have it run off.
Fast forward to opening day 2017. I had practiced my marksmanship all summer and was comfortable with my rifle. I'd seen this large buck on many occasions on the property, but for the most part he had avoided the one trail cam I had set up. I had only one photo of him and he looked huge to me! My kids and I decided to name him “Frank”.
On opening day I sat in my blind for most of the morning and decided to go in for lunch. I received a call from my daughter that my mother-in-law was at the hospital and would need surgery. Therefore, I wasn’t going to go back out in the afternoon so I could be home with the kids while my wife was at the hospital with her mom. My wife told me to go back out because it may be the only chance I had this season to get out.
At 3 pm I arrived back in the woods late and exhausted. I decided to sit under a tree and watch the corn field where I saw Frank earlier in the week. Around 4 pm I got a glimpse of a large buck coming out of the brush 350 yards away... it looked like it might be him. He stayed out about 300 yards and wandered toward my parents property, but from where I was I had no shot. He finally started to come toward me and I realized I couldn’t move without him seeing me. He walked directly at me and closed the gap to 160 yards. Still, I could not get to a shooting position.
He finally moved to where a tree was between us so I could get to my feet and steady on the tree. In the process I stepped on a branch I did not see. He heard it break and paused, looked directly at me, and began to run parallel to me headed for thick woods. The only thing going through my mind was I am losing my only chance at getting "Frank". So I did what every novice hunter does.... I yelled.
Well it worked! He stopped again about 167 yards looked at me this time I was ready with cross hairs on him and pulled the trigger. One shot and I couldn’t see him in the scope anymore. I was confused until I looked out of the scope. There he lay right where not a moment earlier he stood. I couldn’t believe I had taken this buck as my first deer.
I texted a few of my friends and one of them came out with his dad and brother to help teach me field dressing. Then they helped me get him out of the field with their tractor and hung him in the barn. I was greeted by some other hunters at the barn... apparently word spread fast. It was a memorable first deer all around!
“Frank” is aproximately six years old and 215 lbs walking. He has 12-points and has a green gross score of 179 4/8 measured by the taxidermist. I will be having official measurements done after the 60 day dry period.
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