Deer & Deer Hunting

MY TOUGHEST BUCK

Like most whitetail hunters, I was happy to shoot any deer that came along when I started. It didn’t matter if it was a buck or a doe. Back in the late 1970s, just seeing a deer was newsworthy, so it was very rare that any deer hunter would pass on any shooting opportunity.

I was lucky that my first deer, shot back in 1979, was a nice 9-point buck. When I say lucky, I mean it in every sense of the word. Tagging that buck was 100% luck and there really is no other way for me to spin it. While that buck would be considered small by today’s standards, and thousands of today’s deer hunters would let him pass without a second thought, I literally did not know a single person at that time who had shot a bigger buck. I feel extremely blessed that I have had the opportunity to watch our deer herds grow from literally nothing to becoming so common that the sight of a whitetail feeding in a field is not even worthy of a second look for many rural residents. I was also able to witness the deer hunting industry blossom and explode. It is an experience that today’s younger hunters cannot comprehend.

At the same time that our deer herds and the hunting industry were maturing, so was I. I took many small steps along the way to get to the point I am at today. It has been an enjoyable journey over parts of five decades, with

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