I knew that the upcoming weekend hunt had potential to be one of the best mornings so far this season. With cooler weather and and some pre-rut activity I had a feeling that Saturday would be just right. Unfortunately, Cameron
decided to sit out for that mornings hunt. I knew he was tired and the 30 degree weather would be a tough hunt for him. I asked him several times if he was sure he wanted to sleep in and he said that he did. He wanted to sleep after a long week at Kindergarten.
When my alarm went off at 5:15 I quietly slipped out of bed and got ready to go without waking anyone in the house. I drove out to our pasture and walked to our two man ladder stand and settled in. This particular stand is one of my favorites. I always see deer and the scenery is spectacular. The stand sits on a creek that runs the length of the pasture and the banks are scattered with hardwood trees. Behind me is a beautiful hardwood ridge and directly in front of me sits a pine thicket. Deer typically cross to either eat on the ridge or bed in the thicket. Bucks like to use the open field to cruise for does crossing the opening.
At 8:15 I saw a couple of deer running through the hardwoods on the creek bank. I immediately knew it was a doe being pursued by a buck. A few minutes later the doe emerged from the woods into the open field. She was looking over her shoulder for the buck in pursuit. To my disappointment the buck in pursuit was a small spike that I had let walk numerous times. As I watched the doe she suddenly bolted in the opposite direction. I was surprised b her sudden change of heart and quickly glanced to the creek. That’s when I first saw the larger buck… He was attempting to cut the doe off from the pine thicket to prolong his chase for love. The larger buck then chased the doe and spike through the pasture and up and down the ridge for 15 minutes never presenting a shot. Finally, the buck stopped at 250 yards to catch his breath. That was my only chance so I steadied my Tikka T3 .300 Mag and let it do what it was built to do. The buck dropped in his tracks.
I pulled out my phone to text my wife that I had shot one and to get the boys ready so they could see the deer. After a few minutes passed I started thinking that Cameron might be upset since he passed on this mornings exciting hunt. I loaded the buck and drove to the house where Cameron and Carter were both dressed in camo waiting on me. Needless to say that I worried myself for no reason. Cameron was excited that I harvested a buck from one of our stands. As I told him about the hunt he listened intently and asked several questions which made me proud.
After a few minutes I told Cameron that the buck was his deer and I owed my success to him. A few weeks ago from this same stand he spotted this buck before I ever saw it. As a matter of fact if it wasn’t for Cameron I wouldn’t have seen him at all. His line of sight is lower than mine and he was able to see the buck ease through some thick hardwood saplings that was out of my view. That day the buck never presented a shot but we got a good look at him and I knew he would be back to the area to check for does. This made me hunt the stand harder instead of one of our other stands. I could tell that Cameron was very proud and he started to recount the story of him spotting the buck and pointing it out to me. From that moment forward the buck was officially Cameron’s and he made sure that everyone that saw the buck knew that it was his.
I am very proud of this buck and I am even more proud that I first saw it with Cameron. Obviously, this buck is not a “monster” buck but it is a great deer for our area. I took the opportunity to allow my son to have ownership of this deer and he loved it. Although, he wasn’t in the stand with me when I harvested the deer he felt that he was involved and he was successful. We were blessed to enjoy seeing him that morning together and I feel blessed to have taken a decent North Georgia Whitetail!