Watch the video taken just after shooting my last Georgia buck.
The Buck Stops Here- Solo Hunt Success8 min read
With many things in life, we find great accomplishments as we learn and grow one step at a time. For me as a hunter, first came a successful kill, next level would be a successful kill on a solo hunt, on land tended by my hands. On November 14, 2018 I saw this accomplishment come to life!
On an abnormal morning, I agreed to let my son who is 9 go with me out to hunt.
My son and I got set up in a blind placed weeks back , in a tree line over looking an open field of favor. To my surprise in the cold and rain, my son never complained. Coming into the blind I had done a doe estrus drag in as wells hunt scent according to current wind direction. Doing so to the book as best that I knew. This time of year for the South, early rut activities we taking off! A few hours had passed and my son had in fact decided to take a nap curled up on the dry warm area I’d created next to me for him. As I sat quietly, watching, listening, glassing the land, my eyes landed on a buck I had previously been watching on my trail cameras.
I could literally hear the words of my fiancé in my head, words spoken the previous season.
The times when I shot earlier than I had to. It was simple, he told me to let them come, don’t worry, relax. If the deer never knows you are there, they will continue on their path and offer a better shot. I could not believe it however, here I was having just done a rattle and grunt combo just 5-10 minutes earlier, with a buck nose down on my drag trail coming to me. It was like a storybook ending, perfect in every way!
As I placed my scope on my target my first shot range out, unsure of the shot based on the deers reaction, I aimed and fired again.
At this point my son had woke up and I looked back at the buck to find him charging directly at the blind we were in. Having been charged by black bear, turkey as well, I am no stranger to having to bail quick! Unfortunately with my son , I was unable to do so. With desperation, I raised my rifle one more time and pulled the trigger as soon as I saw the deer in scope. This shot directly changeing the bucks direction as he took a hard right, finally coming to rest not far from us in the same tree line. I cannot put into words the emotion that sweep over me as the realization sank in that my son had just seen me kill my first quality buck on a solo trip!
Upon exiting the blind, My son and I unfortunately caused the buck to push on from his landing spot. I did not think he would make it far, so I went to my truck a few fields over to call my fiancé and text a few close friends about the day. Wanting to wait a reasonable amount of time before retrieval, I finally went back out to load up the buck. This task proved more difficult than expected when I realized he was no longer where I had expected him to be.
I had pinned the place I though the buck had laid up in on my phone. Returning there but no blood was found initially.
In fact 4 hours passed until I finally found the most minute blood droplet. Joy returning to my spirit, only to be wrecked again. Rain set in , doing so heavy, knowing my trail would soon be washed away I went into a frantic mode covering and recovering the ground, hoping to find him. I had to recollect myself and take a deep breath and analyze the things I already knew, use my knowledge. Sure enough, the buck had in fact dropped on his way to a known trail to exit the property. He had not made it far in fact, the field was however high and covering him from distal eyesight. Rejoicing and nearly in tears , I proudly called my son over to lay eye on my prize!
After a few pictures and hugs, I realized that with the rain came an obstacle.
Back in this area water was collecting and standing quickly, my truck capable of covering the area, but the vehicle my fiancé was in, would not handle the terrain. I had called him to come and aid in take some photos of my son and I. At this time I knew he was close to arriving. The sun was quickly setting and I had no choice but to attempt to load the buck by myself. I did not want my son injured by the weight or rack of lifting a deer. I drug the deer to area I left my truck. Taking a couple attempts, I was finally able to dead lift the buck into my truck bed and make it off the property right as darkness closed out the light.
It was an incredible experience to share with my son, who know was eager to hunt himself.
To have him see his mother carry out a kill from start to finish and the joys in the moments now felt in person instead of being told to him. It was a physically exhausting day for me, but one I wouldn’t trade for the world! As my fiancé hugged me and told me how proud he was, my son telling my daughter what happened and a 7 point quality buck in the bed of my truck, I went home with a sense of accomplishment never known.
I live to be out hunting, I hunt because it makes me feel alive.
Hunting makes me feel like a true provider! Hunt like you’re starving is something I say based on a quote I heard. No greater pride comes than feeding my family by my hands and hard work. Every kill, every meal, I am and will always be grateful to have. Now tagged out for bucks in my state of Georgia the season is young. I look to make a trip to another state to hunt with friends as much as I can! I hope to hunt a trophy buck eventually. Until then, I am satisfied in being able to find success by way of my own hands. Success on land I had tended for months and invested time and work into. This is a trophy in my mind, because no one can take any credit away from my dedication. This was my reward for my passion in the field. With 10 doe tags left, the hunt is far from over for this huntervationsit!