Hunt Nice, Hope For Luck

A Morgan County 160+ falls as a generous hunter crosses his fingers that he’s climbed the right tree.

Brad Gill | December 18, 2021

Back in my old way of life, putting others first when deer hunting on the same piece of land didn’t usually happen. Today, many years later, when I hear a story about a deer hunter taking the last available stand on an afternoon, and then dropping a buck that scores in the 160s, it confirms in my spirit the need for generosity amongst hunters in this day and age.

This story played out for Donald Peppers, of Bostwick, on Oct. 29. Donald is a longtime friend and his family’s support of GON runs even longer. Donald was hunting a small tract of land in Morgan County when he played the role of a helpful club member and then counted on a little luck to kill his best-ever buck. 

“The other guys that are in the club sent me a text that they were going to hunt the back of the property where I wanted to go,” said Donald. “I thought I would just take my climber and make the best of it up front and may get lucky.”

Donald arrived at the club and his buddies pulled up. 

“Hey said, ‘Hey Donald why don’t you take my Polaris and drive us to the back and drop us off and then you can drive back out?’ So I drove them to the back and dropped them off.”

Of course this second act of kindness would mean Donald would be even later trying to find a spot to hunt. After getting his buddies situated, he was off to locate a brand-new spot toward the front of the club where he would spend the last two hours of the day. Luckily, Donald’s son, Dylan, had sent him a pin on his cell phone of a spot he had seen some deer recently. Donald headed toward that direction. After doing some poking around, Donald ended up close to that area before he decided to climb.

“When I walked in there, there really wasn’t a good tree to get in. So I took my saw and went to hacking and cut down about 10 trees around the white oak I wanted to get in, and then I had to cut some limbs off the white oak.”

Donald finally got settled down at 4:30. A little while later Donald was looking at four does that had come in to feed under a red oak tree that he didn’t even know was there.

“I got lucky crawling up the right tree,” said Donald. “One of the big does threw her head up and looked right at me—or so it appeared. And then I heard a very slight grunt.”

It had rained the day before, so Donald couldn’t hear a deer approaching from behind.

“I looked off my left shoulder and all I could see was rack five steps from my tree, he was standing in some of the trees and limbs I had cut down to hunt.”

As smoothly as he could, Donald got his gun off the rest and made a great shot down through the back and into the heart area.

“He ran about 50 yards and piled up,” said Donald. “I did let out a ‘WOOO!’ A deer this size, if you don’t get excited, you need to stay at the house and watch football.”

Donald Peppers, of Bostwick, with a super 14-pointer that grosses in the 160s that he took from Morgan County on Oct. 29.

Neat to think that if Donald had put up a fuss and claimed his spot to hunt the back of the property, he wouldn’t have seen that deer at all. Could be one of the reasons many years ago during my hunting club years that I never killed a big buck. 

Thanks Donald. What a great lesson in generosity and a reminder that sometimes luck falls your way.

Oh, and it seems that Donald’s generosity keeps getting rewarded. He also killed a dandy buck for Week 13.

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