6-Year-Old 8-Point For Cannon Klement
Hunters Journal: GON Readers Share Their Favorite Hunt Stories
Reader Contributed | December 1, 2011
By Sam Klement
“Dad,” Cannon whispered.
“What is it?” I asked.
“That buck fever is coming on me again,” he said.
About that time, the stand started to shake like an earthquake was just moments from happening.
“Try to control it, son. The does are looking at us,” I said.
With a deep breath of cold air coming out of his mouth on a cold December morning, Cannon said, “That buck is huge. I don’t think I can do it.”
“Yes you can. Stay calm, and slowly take your safety off,” I said.
I tried to keep an eye on the herd of deer slowly walking across a clearcut toward our stand, while at the same time glancing down to make sure he could get the safety off. I couldn’t help but notice his little fingers shaking so badly and fast that he was definitely what we call becoming “twitterpated.”
About the time the train of deer was approximately 75 yards out, the lead doe stopped and looked right at us in the 21-foot double ladder. Her sixth sense had kicked in — she knew a rat was in the tree. And she started the old head-bob treatment, and I thought we were busted again. Meanwhile, Cannon is in a full-blown buck fever seizure and moments away from having a breakdown of adrenaline overload. Thankfully the buck tending this group of does was totally oblivious to the lead doe’s attention on us as he stopped to scent check the cool air to see what doe was ready to breed.
We had a few seconds to pull the shot off before the lead doe, which was stomping her foot, would blow the joint and snort to the next county. I asked Cannon if in fact he was on the buck’s shoulder. He said nothing. I could tell he was pointed right at him (he later told me he wanted to answer me yes, but his voice wouldn’t work at that moment.)
“Shoot him,” I whispered.
Without hesitation, his single-shot .243 cracked the silence and was followed up with that chiiiipowwww crack you love to hear as an animal mule kicks and scrambles to find his feet and runs off aimlessly. For that split-second after the shot, it was a sea of white flags running everywhere across this clearcut. The morning silence was now broken, and I knew my 10-year-old son had just connected on his first buck. Unfortunately Cannon wasn’t as confident.
As he lifted his head up and turned to look at me for assurance, you could tell he was about to go into emotion overload and was thinking he had missed another buck. This same scenario had been replicated three times before over the last two years with no antlers hitting the dirt. That buck fever Cannon was referring to earlier in this hunt had gotten the best of my little hunting buddy in past hunts.
Grabbing Cannon’s gun and breaching it open, I told him to listen. About that time we heard timber snapping and that unmistakable sound of bushes being knocked together as the deer made a final jump for cover.
I told him, “You got him, Buddy! You got him! Way to go, son!”
With no hesitation, he said “Dad, I get it!”
“Get what, son?” I asked.
He said, “I get why you are so passionate about hunting.”
I said, “What?”
“I now know why you and your friends are always saying, ‘huntin’ is good.’ That was the most incredible feeling I have ever had!”
As a dad, it was one of the proudest moments I think I have ever shared or had with my son. We hugged each other, and we immediately went cheek to cheek as we said a prayer thanking the good Lord for allowing us to enjoy his wonderful creations and blessing us with this incredible hunt.
We then started getting the texts from other hunting club members who heard the shot and knew that Cannon and I were in that area. We answered the texts with, Yes, he has shot! H.I.G.! Getting down now to look for him. Stay tuned!
We didn’t have to look far. Cannon’s 245-lb., 6-year-old trophy 8-pointer didn’t go more than 75 yards thanks to a perfect heart shot. It was time to celebrate and start taking some photos to send out to his sister Anna and his mother Jenny and all of our Hunting PODS (people outdoors doing something) who were anxiously awaiting the good news.
His two-year curse was over. Cannon had now killed his first buck, and what a buck he killed. As a dad, I am blessed that both my children enjoy hunting and spending time outdoors. I have had the opportunity to experience many mornings in the southern woods cheek to cheek praying with my kids as the sun started to break the horizon.
I have no doubt both my kids know that God is great, and that Huntin’ is Good! I am so blessed and honored to have been given the opportunity to raise positive awareness for our industry, which is under attack. We hope to make a difference through our merchandise with a message that says, “Huntin’ is Good.”
Thank you for allowing me to share this special story of my son’s first buck with you. I hope all of you have success this fall and continue to fight the good fight with us.
Huntin’ is Good for the family, for the soul and for our country.
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