It was 1996 and my 18th year of hunting. I turned 30 that year and I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to shoot a buck. Up to this point I was strictly a gun hunter and had only taken a handful of does. That year I did pick up the bow and began to venture into the world of bowhunting.
I had my first ever close encounter with a very large buck while hunting with my bow. Unfortunately a rookie mistake cost me a chance at him. Gun season had arrived and I had renewed hope. I had so many more buck encounters while I was bowhunting I had alot of hope for the shotgun season. In my prior 17 years of hunting I probably only shot at a couple of bucks and maybe only seen a couple more. I had seen more bucks the first 7 weeks of bow season than the prior 17 years. You can see why I was exited for gun season.
The first day I shot a very nice doe. I was hunting with my uncle and he took out a pretty decent 8 point. Day 2 was now here. It was December 6th and a rather cold morning. The morning hunt was uneventful. I decided to go back out early in the afternoon. As I was walking to my stand I spooked a deer. I didn't get a good look at it so I wasn't sure what it was. I hurried into my tree stand and grabbed my grunt call and let out a few grunts. I was really hoping I would call a buck in.
Maybe the deer I had spooked was a buck and he would come back. All I know is I had that feeling I was going to see a buck. A few minutes after I grunted on the call a couple times I heard some crunching in the leaves coming my way. I spotted the deer. I could not tell at first what it was. I watched intently as it got closer and closer. I finally saw what it was. It was a buck. I drew up my 12 gauge shotgun and waited for him to present me with a shot. It had seemed like an eternity for him to give me that opportunity. He jumped a fence row and he was only about 40 yards away now. He turned broadside and BOOM! I let him have it. He turned back and ran the way he came then circled down behind me. He stopped and just stood there behind me. I thought I better put one more in him so I let him have another one. He ran down the hill a little more and I watched him go down I could not believe it. I had finally killed my first buck.
I gave him a little time then climbed down the tree and went to get him. When I got to him I thanked the Lord for this opportunity and I grabbed a hold of his rack. It was only a 1 1/2 year old 6 point but he was my first buck and a trophy to me. I gutted him and dragged him all the way back to the house. I showed my buck to my Grandma then I called my wife. I told her to come on out to the farm and bring the kids. I have a surprise. I had hung him up and was now waiting on the family to share my moment with. They arrived and we all hugged each other and took several pictures. Since then I have taken out a buck every year except two. I was not able to hunt in 98', and the 2001 season I experienced alot of bad luck. This is the only buck I ever shot with my gun. All of my other bucks I have shot have been with my bow and I no longer gun hunt.