Screven Buck Rattled Up As 8-Year-Old Son Witnesses Hunt
This buck was special. Big, bold, strong and majestic.
By JR Wilson
My 8-year-old son Gabe and I have had the most incredible year of fellowship with close friends and hunting. We’ve hunted hard, missing only one weekend since opening day of bow. Knowing this might be our last hunt of the season together, I said a little prayer. I thanked God for our amazing season, and I asked for Gabe and I to have an incredible hunt. He doesn’t answer all my prayers the way I want Him to, but He showed up in full force the evening of Dec. 2.
About 4:45 p.m., four large does stepped out of the clearcut. They were about 150 yards away and started meandering toward us. Gabe scanned though his scope and selected the largest. He waited patiently for them to close the distance and for a broadside shot.
With his Ruger American Ranch rifle, Gabe slowly squeezed the trigger. It was a near-perfect shot. The doe must have jumped 10 feet high on impact. I’ve never seen anything like that.
Thirty minutes later, after a long, quiet rattle with my Black Rack, a deer we had named Moze decided to show up. Like a whisper walking though the woods, I saw him slipping from the back corner of the swamp into the clearcut. There was no chasing, no grunting, no fighting, just a shadow between the trees and complete silence. From the time I saw him, I knew I would only have a few precious seconds to make a decision, but in those split seconds, I knew this buck was special. Big, bold, strong and majestic. There was no time to waste. Point, aim, shoot, hit, run, crash…. right into the middle of the clearcut jungle. Yikes!
Now the fun begins. With 15 minutes of daylight left, we looked for blood but found nothing. We broke out the blood light and searched and searched, but still found no blood.
So we went back the next morning. We retraced our steps, visualized the location of impact and plotted the search area. We entered the jungle of thick briars, hawthorns, snakes, ants, etc. Two hours later, after crawling through tunnels and receiveing my fair share of cuts, scratches and ant bites, and still nothing, I expanded the search area.
An hour later, I was tired and thirsty. Not wanting to take the same trail twice, I decided to take a trail on the outside edge of my search area and head back to my buggie to get a drink and regroup. Without a doubt, frustration and disappointment had set in.
As I curved around the trail to go collect my thoughts, there he was. Moze and I met again, a mere 40 yards from where he was shot. I couldn’t believe it then, and I still can’t believe it now. Completely breathtaking and utterly blessed. What a season! What a feeling!
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