Hunter: Tracey Seymour
Points: 12 (7L, 5R)
The night before I shot this buck, my sister, my husband, and I received terrible news that my Dad (who's nickname is Buck) has pancreatic cancer. My Dad is the heart of our family. He taught me to hunt, he's taught me so much more, and now I'm scared I'll lose him. We stayed up late that night, and I was late getting into the stand. I really wanted to be out by 6:30 am because I know 8:00 a.m. is when deer come out on the property. I got into the stand, only because my Dad made me promise I would, not because I wanted to since he'd given us such bad news the night before. He wanted me out there because we knew the big buck we\'d seen the past three years was there again, and he wanted me to get it before someone else did. Last year I saw him, and shot right under his torso, behind his front legs. I got buck fever then, I've got no shame. So, late as it was, I got in the stand, but I was convinced I wasn't going to see anything. I was just getting settled into the stand, just loaded my rifle, a Remington 700, which I love. I was about to take a sip of my coffee (ssshhh don't tell Dad, he disapproves when I do things like that... or blow my nose for that matter), when four doe came out of the woodline. They meandered to the middle of the pasture, nibbling away, two larger does, and two of this year's drop. I watched them for a few minutes thinking about which one I was going to take, when they started looking back at the woodline. The rut comes early in Franklin County, so I was shocked when the 'big buck' came bursting out of the woodline with his head thrown back scenting the air. We've always debated the "2nd rut" in my family, and I think this pretty much settles the argument. It does exist. He started chasing the largest doe around the pasture, while the other three continued to meander and eat. They were doing circles. So I shot into the ground, which made them all freeze, trying to locate where the shot came from. Lucky for me this buck stood broadside to me. I took my shot, and although it looks like the shot is "far back", as my Uncle Richard stated, I took out a lung and the bottom of his heart. I didn't know that though, and all I saw was the buck ducking into the pasture and woodline next door. When I got out of the stand, my 4-wheeler battery was dead, it was an old battery, and I'd had to jump it that morning to get it out to the pasture. At this point I was in tears - my Dad's diagnosis, my missed shot, and my dead 4-wheeler. I went to get my sister, Michelle. Michelle is the tracker in the family. Dad made her promise the night before that she would track any deer I shot, that's what Dad wanted, and that's what we'd do. So we took our other 4-wheeler with a pair of heavy duty jumper cables, and jumped off my 4-wheeler. I honestly didn't think I'd got him, but I told her she was obligated to look for blood. We started looking where I'd shot him, and we found it! He had made it about 20 feet and dropped. Now, the only thing handy to drag him out with was... yeah, those heavy duty jumper cables. I couldn't be bothered to leave my prize there and go get rope! And we tried lifting him on the back of the 4-wheeler, and that wasn't gonna happen! Dad was so happy I got him, and Michelle tracked him, just like he wanted, just like he said we would do the night before. I've never experienced anything like it. Like God fulfilling Dad's wish. He was not, however, happy about the jumper cables.