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Big Nevada Velvet Buck
By 14 Year Old, Griffin Grimaldi


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On the first day we saw a herd of elk. They were starting to separate, but they kept bugling to each other. One of them was on the other side of the hill, but he sounded really close, so we decided to hike up the hill to get a better look, since we weren't seeing any deer. Once we hiked over the hill we could see the elk and my dad was distracted by it. I looked down into the ravine below us and saw a herd of deer. They were all bucks and there was a big one. I was really excited and trying to control my breathing. We tried to get closer and I had a clear shot on him, but we weren't sure it was him so I didn't shoot. We started walking back to the truck because by that time it was starting to get dark. I was disappointed because I thought we wouldn't see him again.

On the second day we went to that same spot on the hill and just sat and waited. After a while we decided to go up the hill and look around because we had trees blocking our view. Once we hiked up about 80 yards we saw the same herd, but they got spooked and ran away. I regret that decision. We tried to track them down, but they disappeared. I was really upset, but tried to stay positive.

On the third day we knew exactly what to do. We brought chairs and went to the same spot we sat the day before and just sat there. We had people helping us on the other side of the ravine so we could cover our blind spot. I thought for sure we would get him today. A blue jeep dropped off a hunter and I was worried he was looking for the same deer, but luckily he was sleeping most of the time. My dad's friend was scouting out the area and spotted the deer on a different hill, so we hiked up there and I took a shot at him, but he was too far and he was hard to see, so I missed. By then it was past shooting light and we walked back to the truck. At that point I was worried I wasn't going to get him.

On the last day we drove around and looked in every spot we had seen him before and we were seeing other deer, but not the big one. We were worried they left the area, but we hiked over the hill that we saw them on the first day and on the way back to the truck we saw him right next to the road where we parked. They were walking along the hillside close to the road, so we decided to drive up close to them. Once we were in shooting distance I had a clear shot and completely missed. My heart was racing, but I was completely steady. They just stood there so we reloaded the gun and I took another shot. Immediately he dropped to the ground. I shot him straight through the lungs.

That deer is going to make a good shoulder mount. I was really excited to get home and share my story. I couldn't stop smiling and laughing the whole drive home.