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"My First Buck"

Debbie's First Buck
Debbie's Canada buck dressed at over 220lbs.
It was 4 a.m. when the alarm went off. "Oh god, it's so early", I said to myself as I thought about dragging myself from that warm, soft bed. My husband, Kent, said, "It's your choice, you can get up or stay home". I slowly drug myself from bed and got the coffee going.

After filling our thermoses and loading our rifles into the truck, we were on the road. We traveled for about an hour and a half, all the while seeing deer run across the road in front of us. We saw one nice buck and I whined to Kent that there was my buck, close to the road! "Nope", he said. "Yours is on that mountain", as he pointed off to the right.

As it became light, it was apparent that we were not going to have the mountain to ourselves, there were plenty of other hunters. We picked a spot and unloaded the Kodiak ATV. Being it was the day before Thanksgiving, it was very cold, so we didn't plan on being out too long. It was a beautiful fall morning; the leaves were spectacular in their colors of red, gold, and oranges. The air was crisp with a slight breeze that rustled the dry leaves. I love the fall.

We hadn't gone far when Kent spotted a deer. We left the ATV running and jumped off to get a better view. Kent whispered, "It's a buck". I knew I didn't have much time, so I quickly raised my .243 Winchester rifle, placed the crosshairs just behind his shoulder, released the safety, and squeezed the trigger.

"You got him", Kent yelled. "I did"? The buck was trying to get back to his feet, but just couldn't do it. His shoulders were broke. He was pushing himself towards some heavy brush with his hind legs. We knew we had to finish the buck quickly, so Kent fired a shot, which seemed to do the job.

We were both excited, but decided to wait a few minutes, just to ensure that the buck was down for good. It seemed like an eternity, my hands were shaking, what a rush, my first buck. I wanted to see him, so Kent said to go ahead and he would go get the ATV. As I began towards the buck, I was almost in tears. I was so happy, because I knew that this buck was better than any I had ever seen.

Suddenly, the buck began trying to get up again and before I knew it, Kent fired another shot, which finally finished the buck.

This was one Thanksgiving that I'll never forget. "Thank you Kent! Not many husbands would let their wives shoot a big deer when they could have shot it themselves." I am glad he did too, the buck and the hunt are things I will always cherish.

Written by Debbie Doyle