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"California Dream Buck"
Written by Robin Newlen

California Dream Buck
I had the luck in 2008, as I drew the late season Kern River buck hunt in California, and what a great hunt it was! I was hunting with my very experienced husband, Kevin Newlen, and 2 small boys, Seth (5), and Lil' Kevin (7).

Early the second morning a pretty good storm rolled in and caught us all off guard as we were a long ways from the truck walking some canyons. Needless to say, we were soaked when we got back to the truck. We decided to take a long ride in the nice, warm, dry truck until cabin fever hit the boys hard and we went up to higher grounds and let them play in the snow. On our way down, we decided to go to Peppermint Creek and see if there might be movement around there. Immediately, my husband spotted a nice little 4 point (I've never been a "big" horn hunter anyways) and I went on the chase that ended with a shot fired and no buck. I was frustrated and trying to figure out what went wrong, then my husband assured me that even the best hunters miss. So, we decided to drive slowly back to camp.

California Dream Buck
While driving the road back, I spotted this buck slowly walking over the ridge in front of us. I jumped out of the truck in hopes of finding him on the other side. I found him quickly and there he was standing, soaking wet, and unaware of my presence. I looked through my scope only to see what I thought was maybe a heavy, wide 3-point (good enough for me), but I knew he was better than anything I have ever shot at before.

I took my time and fired. He jumped and ran about 15 yards before tipping over. I radioed my husband and he and our boys were there in minutes. I pointed to where he was and we walked up as a family. As we approached, I lost it when I saw how big he was! I had to hold back the tears…I was so excited.

I don't know how many times we counted his points, a lot. That I do know! I still can't believe it! I didn't know California bucks got this big, or I was this lucky. He's a heavy 6x6 with nice eye guards and a 28- 1/8 inch spread. Needless to say, I thank my husband for all his encouragement and guidance. We've already taken him to the taxidermist and he measured him at a green score of 187.