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Growing up hunting has taught me many life qualities, such as patients, determination, vigor, and even humility. Hunting is something that gets into your blood and will never come out, but for me it is more than that.

More Than Just a Trophy

This is one trophy that no bow hunter will ever forget. The monumental first buck taken with the bow is a feat that is truly loved by all archers. The details will always remain vivid and the buck will always have a spot in the hunter’s heart. I don’t think the hunt of mine is too different than others, but the reasoning and day is more special than most.

5The week was struck with terrible news, my grandfather passed away. Though he wasn’t technically my blood it didn’t ever seem or feel that way. My brother Zac and him we the real relationship. Zac and he had a bond that most only talk about or see in movies. The grandfather, grandchild relationship slowly went out the window as Zac grew up and a new relationship emerged. This friendship was pretty special in my eyes and I wanted nothing more to be surrounded by it. Not only did he really push the outdoor activities such as hunting and fishing, but he was truly one to push the love of not only nature, but people in general. This man would do anything for anyone at any time.

With that being said, it is easier to realize why his death was painful in its own, but to top it off, the funeral landed on Zac’s birthday. November 13 2006 was a tragic yet very special day for me and my brother alike. After the funeral, a few family members, I and Zac decided that not only should we do something grandpa would love to do, but what we love to do as well, go hunting. We loaded up the bows and headed out.

I’m in the stand, alone, in a new place with no trophies under my belt. Then it happened. Sitting there waiting then the sound of what I thought was a cow in the standing corn came to be a little 8 point running right at me. Sure enough he stops 8 yards, jumps the fence, lands behind a pine tree and waits. Stands for a bit and walks broadside in the opening then runs to my left down a hill and out of sight.

4Naturally I jump on my phone and text Zac saying I just saw a buck and it was awesome. As soon as its sent I hear the same noise, just much louder. I stand up in hopes of a bigger buck, sure enough it is. Around a 150 eight point comes busting out the corn, running full speed. He runs right under me down the fence line. Here I am a trembling 16 year old trying to grunt and make him stop but that isn’t happening. After he gets nearly a hundred yards away I manage to grab hold of my grunt call and give it a try. This buck hits the skids and turns on a dime back to me. (When this happens the buck is only 50 yards from my uncle running right at him, sucker.)

This buck comes to the same spot on the fence that the previous buck did and jumped. I knew he was going to stop behind that tree, so I drew back. He stepped three more times and smack. Probably the best shot I ever made. He runs about 40 yards and goes down. Oh my how the rush hit me. I’m trying to text my brother but my words aren’t spelled correctly, and if they are the sentence doesn’t make since. Finally, I managed to say big buck down over the phone.

When they all got there and saw my buck, i could see tears coming from my brother’s face. Needless to say I wasn’t ready for that response. Here I think he’s jealous I shot that, but I’ll never forget what he said. “This is the most perfect birthday present I could ever ask for, grandpa pushing this buck to you on this day.”

Since then my trophies have grown larger and birthdays have come and gone. But that day will always be truly special. I could have taken that buck any other day, but that day was perfect. I couldn’t have done it without my brother, and without grandpa. Love of hunting and family will never leave my blood.

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