Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Remember Your First Buck

For those of us that are deer hunters there is probably no feeling that is much greater or emotional than the thrill of putting your first buck on the ground.  I still remember fifty years later the old Texas classic basket horned eight point that followed a doe onto a cactus flat where I was hunting near Round Mountain, Texas.  My grandfather had put me in the blind well before daylight and told me to shoot right behind the shoulder if the old buck he had seen several times before showed up.  I now know that grandad had passed the old buck up just so one of us kids might have a chance at it as I often pass bucks today in hopes my daughter or wife might have the opportunity to harvest it at our place.  The old buck heard the safety catch click as I took it off to shoot and looked right at the blind.  I put the cross hairs right behind the shoulder and pulled the trigger.  At the crack of the .243 the buck whirled and ran quickly out of my sight.  I was horrified, I must have missed.  Being eight years old I did not realize that a lung shot buck could run quite aways before expiring.  I put the rifle in the corner of the blind and left it as my grandfather had directed me to do and started the long walk back to the ranch house.  I dreaded telling grandad that I had missed a buck.  About five minutes down the road I met the old truck coming down the road to meet me.  I did not know at the time that grandad had been sitting in the truck at the pasture gate about 500 yards away waiting to hear my shot.  I explained what had happened and waited for my lecture.  Instead grandad told me we would go look and see what happened.  When I showed him where the buck was standing he studied the ground and took off in the direction the buck had fled.  After a few feet he pointed at the ground, looked back at me and grinned ear to ear.  There on the ground were several drops of blood.  As he followed the buck the blood trail became heavier until he stopped and pointed.  There about fifty yards away was the old buck piled up in a cedar.  The shot had been good.  That old hill country buck was a tremendous trophy to me.  I will never forget that buck or the wisdom and soft heart of my grandfather, Eddie Thomas.  Thanks for the memories.  Wild Ed

I have a good friend in Georgetown, Texas that had the chance to re-live that first buck feeling through his grandson this last week.   I congratulate Clayton and also Dennis for being a grandad that just created a memory that will last a lifetime.  Here is the sequence as Dennis related it to me.

Eleven year old Clayton Andrews of Georgetown had quite a first hunt. He harvested the heavy horned seven point with an eighteen inch spread on the first morning of Youth season at 7:45 in the morning. Clayton dropped the buck with one shot. He was hunting with Dennis Chapman, his Grandfather, on the Chapman Ranch west of Georgetown. He was using a 222 caliber rifle with 50 grain soft point ammo.

Watching the buck work his way through brush for five minutes Clayton never got buck fever, but Grandad was a nervous wreck hoping on hope that the deer would step out of the brush so Clayton could get a shot. Yes, Grandad is having the buck mounted for Clayton.

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