Truck-Buck

photo of a deer killed by Clark Carterphoto of a deer killed by Clark Carterphoto of a deer killed by Clark Carter

Hunter: Clark Carter

Points: 8 (4L, 4R)

County: Thomas

Season: 2017-2018 (Week 11)

Hunt Story

It brings me great joy to have a son compete in your Truck-Buck Contest. My 11-year-old son, Clark Carter, has been hunting with me for three seasons. He has only harvested a doe as he is real picky about what he shoots. I have no idea where he gets that from. Clark has passed numerous bucks over the years as he wanted his first buck to be a good one. He enjoys watching the young bucks and knows that if he lets them go hopefully one day they will reach an age and be mature enough to be considered a trophy buck. His chance to harvest a mature buck finally came on November 25th. I had watched the buck Thanksgiving morning tending a doe but unfortunately Clark decided to sleep in that morning. Hoping to get a chance at the buck Thanksgiving afternoon, Clark and I went to the stand where the buck was seen. The Big Eight Pointer did not show himself, but we did get to see a smaller eight point work some scrapes, which was exciting to watch. I had to work the next morning, so we did not get to hunt. That afternoon, after work we returned to the same stand with hopes of seeing the buck. At 5:30 we saw the buck chase a smaller 8-point up the hill in our direction, but he stopped short only to return to where he came from. Scanning the area with binoculars we located the Big Eight and the doe which started coming up a far ridge northwest of our stand location. Halfway up the ridge, the buck and the doe dropped off out of sight into the bottom below not to be seen for the rest of the evening. Having sighted the buck two days in a row, we decided to go to the same stand the next morning and try the buck again. It was a clear and cool morning, perfect for deer hunting. Deer were stirring at first light in several different directions from our stand site. At 7:25 a.m. there was a commotion across the field from us, and two 8-points popped out of the wood line toward the bottom end of the field about 250 yards away. As they trotted down the edge of the planted pines, you could tell their eyes were definitely fixed on something in the pines. After a moment, the doe entered the field and that is when all the excitement began. The Big Eight came behind her and let out a very aggressive snort/grunt/growl and started pushing the doe at full throttle across the field. With them came a wall of bucks. To our advantage, after crossing half of the field the doe started angling in our direction. I told Clark to get ready as it looked like he might finally get his chance. When the doe hit the wood line on our side of the field, she continued to angle in our direction stopping about 100 yards from our stand. Knowing that the buck would stay with the doe, I told Clark to be patient and not shoot until the time was right. The buck came down the hill twice to the doe but then returned to the crest of the hill to run off the two different smaller 8-pointers. The third time he came to the crest of the hill he stopped 125 yards away in a lane that had been mowed the previous year. Through the binoculars I could see the buck was angling slightly away and the shot was clear. I told Clark that if he felt good about the shot, to take it. At the report of Clark’s rifle we saw the buck jump up in the air and do a Bronco style kick. When the buck came back down, he went to the ground but was able to get back up and run away from us. As he ran we noticed his opposite side shoulder was definitely broken. The buck ran 75 yards and stopped, then fell out of sight. I could tell by Clark's reaction that he felt really confident about the shot. I explained to Clark we needed to stay put for at least 30 minutes or more, but handcuffs, chains and shackles could not hold the 11-year-old in the stand as he could not wait to go see the deer. We immediately found blood and followed it to the deer. The celebration began as the buck turned out to be everything we thought he would be and more. Within minutes pictures were circulating among my friends who knew how hard Clark had been hunting in an attempt to harvest a buck of this caliber. We had no shortage of friends offering to come help us load the deer as they wanted to come and see Clark’s reaction and enjoy the excitement created by the result of the mornings hunt. For a father… it was priceless. Passing on the Tradition. York Carter Editor's Note: York Carter is a two-time winner of the grand prize truck in GON's Truck-Buck Shoot-Out.
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