My dad and I headed to our hunting property near Akin, Illinois, for the first day of the 2007 slug gun deer season. I’ve been going there with my dad for 3 years without hunting because I needed to take a hunter’s safety course. I passed the course just before the season started, so I got to hunt this year.
On the first day I saw a lot of deer, but was unable to get a shot at any of them. On the second day I saw only three deer: a small doe and two bucks that walked directly under our treestand. I was so nervous I didn’t even shoot. On Monday, my dad took off work to go hunting. All morning we didn’t see any deer, so we moved to another stand and we still didn’t see anything. After that we moved to a small mound of dirt and ate lunch.
At noon a huge buck slowly walked toward us and came within 10 yards. Then he turned away and began walking deeper into the woods. I thought, “Man, I missed the biggest buck Dad and I have ever seen on our property!”
The buck must’ve thought something was wrong because he kept hesitating and looking in our direction, but I was unable to get a clean broadside shot. The buck knew something wasn’t right and finally turned around and began walking the direction that he came from. When it got to the trail my grandpa had cut in the woods, my dad blew his grunt call and the buck stopped! My dad grunted again and the buck turned, giving me a broadside shot. I squeezed the trigger and the buck dropped to the ground.
I was so excited. My whole body was shaking so badly that I had a hard time standing up. Dad gave me a high-five, and we walked up to the buck and counted 10 points—even with one of the brow tines broken off. Dad gave me another high-five and hugged me. What a way to begin a hunting career!