9-Year-Old Charlie Drops “Droopy”
"Out There Outdoors" With Clae Mathis
My 9-year-old son Charlie has had some very good luck hunting so far. He was able to tag out on bucks last year. Those were his first two deer ever. This year he had an ancient buck that he wanted to kill. The buck didn’t have the best rack, and I told Charlie after he killed him, he would have to go after a true big, mature buck.
I was tagged out Nov. 3, and my wife Taylor was tagged out on Nov. 14. It was all Charlie after that. A buck that our 5-year-old Cal helped me name “Droopy” had become the next target. “Droopy” got his name because his right main beam obviously got bumped in velvet and caused it to droop. It even resembled a drop tine because of the way the points were now turned. Anyway, he was mature, and he was an awesome and unique buck.
We began hunting him in mid-November and devoted our whole Thanksgiving break to him. He was a middle-of-the-night type of buck for sure. He never seemed to be chasing does or anything. He was always by himself. One day Charlie and I had to get down early from a hunt to go take family pictures. That day at 12:24 “Droopy” came into the food plot for about five minutes. We felt strongly about our chances at him that evening, but he never showed. We finished Thanksgiving break with no sightings.
The next week we were able to go three more times, but still nothing. Charlie was getting tired of going so much, and the weather was always hot, but I felt like we had to go when we could because he could slip up at anytime. On Sunday, Dec. 11 there was a forecast of rain for the whole afternoon. My wife Taylor and I had sat down to watch a movie, which is something we never get to do much of with our crazy family schedules. About halfway through the movie, I get a Moultrie Mobile Alert from my food plot. At 3:18 p.m. sure enough there was “Droopy.” The rain had actually stopped earlier than the forecast had said. We paused the movie, and I told Charlie. He began to put his hunting clothes on and said “let’s go get him.” He was so upset with me when I said we couldn’t. I wasn’t sure of our chances, but as much as I stay gone coaching and hunting I didn’t want to leave Taylor in the middle of our movie. I told him the forecast the next day was similar, so we would go as soon as we both got home from school the next day.
Of course “Droopy” wound up staying in food plot eating alone for over an hour and a half. There was one thing he did that helped me for the next day. Normally “Droopy” would bed in an area which was close to our food plot, and I felt like that made it hard for us to get on him because I thought maybe he knew when we came to hunt. That day when he left I caught him on one of the seven cameras I have set up to try to know where the deer are at all times when they leave the plot. He walked by one of them and didn’t come back overnight, so I knew that we had a chance. The next day we rushed after school to try to get out there at a good time, but we wound up getting in the stand around 4. It started raining hard on us on the way to the stand, so it took us longer to get all of our camera equipment and everything packed up safely to get to the stand. We were hunting in our Fatboy Blind, which meant we would be warm and dry. I also felt like the rain would keep “Droopy” away for a few minutes in case he came out early like the day before. The rain stopped about 4:10, and I got our camera equipment and everything set up around 4:15. At that time I did our intro for our YouTube show and got ready for the hunt.
Unbelievably, 5 minutes after the update, “Droopy” makes an appearance. He walks in beautifully and majestically just like big bucks do. We were both incredibly nervous. It took him about 2 minutes to walk in. He stopped to eat in the plot, and we waited on him to move that front leg. Once he did, Charlie shot, and “Droopy” mule kicked and took off. We watched the footage back and called Taylor to let her know what had happened. Right after that we got down and found blood immediately at the shot site. I knew the trail he left on, so once I checked all of the cameras on Moultrie Mobile to make sure he hadn’t gone past any of them, I knew he never made it out of those pines. We walked about 60 yards before we saw him.
The celebration and time spent with just me and my son sitting around this awesome Georgia buck was truly incredible. We prayed and thanked God for all of the blessings He’s given us this year. He is always good, but He didn’t have to be as good to us as he was this year. After a while our family came out as well to celebrate with us around “Droopy.” We had him loaded into the truck before dark, and we had a whole lot of night left to get home and celebrate.
It is truly a blessing to take your child hunting. Spending time away from the business and craziness of the world is something we all need. As I told Charlie in the video, we could kill 1,000 more bucks in our lives, but we will NEVER forget this one. The video is awesome and is live on our YouTube Channel “Out There Outdoors.”
Other Articles You Might Enjoy