Like any other kid with a passion for deer hunting, I was excited to be participating in the upcoming 2007 slug gun season on a small farm near the town of Bloomington, Illinois. Seeing big bucks earlier in the bow season that just didn’t come within range gave me a bundle of hope.
On opening morning of the firearms season, as I grabbed my slug gun and headed out of the cabin, I felt a wisp of cold air blow across my face. After waiting in my stand for 30 minutes, a doe came nosing in and bedded near my stand. I watched her because I knew she would be a key signal to telling me if there were any more deer coming.
As I waited, I saw her ears perk up and she looked around. Just then a coyote came running by. As I turned around for a shot, it kept running. When I looked back, I was surprised to see the doe still bedded in the same spot.
Suddenly, I heard the doe jump up, and turned to see another doe come running. Not 20 yards behind her, I saw the sun reflecting off antlers.
The buck came running to within 30 yards, and I whistled and stopped him for a clear shot. The sights automatically went to the vitals, and I felt the Benelli kick in my tight grip. I watched the buck run through the woods, sway back and forth, and fall to the earth.
I felt a leap of joy in my heart and knew I’d just shot my first buck! I quickly climbed down from the stand and hurried to where I saw him fall. I grabbed his antlers and counted 9 points!
I then hurried to my dad’s stand. I was going to try and trick him by telling him that I shot a doe, but I couldn’t keep a secret for very long—I was too thrilled! Dad shook my hand and hugged me tightly. I then took him to the buck and showed him with pride and excitement.
I knew this deer was big enough to display on the wall, and that the local taxidermist would soon be getting a call!