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"Balloon Bomb Buck"
Photo provided by: Kenny Mulder

Kenny Mulder writes, "On October 7th, at about 5:30 in the morning near the Mitchell Monument of south central Oregon, the coldest, yet best, day of my life was taking shape. Mitchell Monument was the only place on U.S. soil where there were deaths because of war. Japanese sent over an explosive balloon and killed 8 people. My name is Kenny Mulder, a 14 year old, about to start hunting for my first ever mule deer. After I woke up and ate oatmeal for breakfast I got into a small Toyota truck and my dad, his friend Mark, and headed off to a spot that he knew had deer, and good sized ones too. We pulled off a road that just looked like a whole bunch of pine needles with no road at all, but eventually I saw it.

We came to a small, shallow river that the small truck crossed easily and made a left turn. Apparently it was the wrong way so we got out with flashlights and tried to find the dirt road. Then Mark realized that we made a wrong turn after the river, it was supposed to be a right turn. So we drove back to the river and made a right hand turn up a very steep hill. When I say steep I mean STEEP! I have seen a few good-sized hills but this was insane. But after a while it leveled out.

We drove very slowly for a good half an hour when Mark said, “Ok Kenny, get out of the truck and get your gun out just in case we see anything”. Nothing was going to plan; it was incredible how foggy it was. I doubted we could see anything, plus, the truck’s cab was so small, I could barley fit my self and my .243 inside. And on top of it all, it was about 19 degrees. Mark started telling me if I did see something, to get out of the truck, don’t close the door be very quiet and that he will shut off the engine. We had our headlights off too so nothing saw us.

Thirty seconds after him telling me what to do, my dad just says, “There’s a deer Kenny”. As soon as he said that I saw this huge buck walking along the crest of a hill. I slowly got out of the truck with my rifle and leaned over the hood for a perfect rest and a perfect broad side shot. Then I just see him walking along a ridgeline at about 100 yards, which just happened to be exactly what the .243 was sighted in for. I noticed the deer wouldn’t stop walking but Mark did a light short whistle. The big buck looked for two seconds but went back to walking. Now my crosshairs were right on him, Mark whistled again and the deer stopped in the perfect trophy pose. Then BANG!

He dropped like a rock, and I had never been so exited in my life! I started “dancing a jig” right there but then I thought he may still be alive. So I grabbed my gun and slowly approached him. And he wasn’t, no way he was. In the end, we took many pictures to remember the moment. But I always will, forever."










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