Although my youngest son, Matt (now 11 yrs old), had taken a doe in each of the last two youth doe hunts, he was still in search of his first buck. His chance would come on the first saturday of this gun season, Dec 1st.
As we settled into our spot on the top of a hill overlooking a large gasline, I kept thinking that we had a really good chance of seeing a buck. We were hunting some private land in 2D and I had taken a very nice 11 point on opening day from this very spot. And my oldest son, Mike and I had seen 14 different bucks during the past week. The weather was mild and we were excited for this hunt.
After a short time on stand, I noticed a doe on the gasline about 60 yards to Matts left. He practiced looking at the deer through the scope as she made her way across the 40 yard wide gasline. Soon another doe entered the opening and followed the first doe, then another. In a matter of 5 minutes, we watched 5 doe cross the gasline then all went still.
After readjusting Matts shooting stix, I sat back down and we resumed our watch. In a matter of just a few minutes Matt whispered to me "Dad, there's another deer." Sure enough there was a deer in the same spot that the doe were in just a short time earlier. But this deer had it's butt to me and I couldn't see it's head. Watching the deer through my binos, he finally turned to our right and I could now see he was a young buck. "Matty, It's a buck!" I whispered to him, "Get on him and I'll stop him for you".
I made an "urp" sound with my voice and the buck stopped a few yards from the woodsline. Matt fired his 7mm-08 and the buck bolted off. Not certain of a hit, I did think I could hear the deer crash in the distance. So down off the hill we went to have a look. Not seeing any sign of a hit where the deer was standing, we headed off in the direction the deer went after the shot. Going about 30 yards into the woods, I turned to Matt with a smile and said "I see a white belly, Matt! There's your buck!"
What followed was alot of high fives, hugs, picture taking and a few phone calls. Matts buck turned out to be a 3 point half rack as the deer was missing his left antler. But judging from Matts smile, I dont think a world record buck could've made either of us smile much wider. Certainly a hunt to remember for a lifetime.