First Buck

The last week of October 2004 was comfortable not hot, nor sweaty warm, as my grandson Colton, 11 years old, and I climbed into our famous Scaffold Blind, called by some an elevated contraption. It’s ideal for young hunters since it has plenty of room for 2 people and 2 real comfortable chairs. There’s only one drawback, it has no roof, but as I tell everyone, “Don’t worry, if it’s not raining, you won’t get wet.”

Texas hunting law enables hunters to feed or bait deer and there was a feeder 95 yards west of the Scaffold Blind, tucked into a clearing along several deer trails. Texas law also requires that youth hunters take a hunter safety course.  In many other states hunters are required also to take an online [hunter education course].

That afternoon we watched doe and yearlings feed on the corn that was on the ground, and to our surprise, a gray fox trotted not 20 feet in front of the blind. We both wondered what in the world this fox was doing out this early in the day?

We knew the doe would hang around and Colton could take one for camp meat, but he was holding out for a nice buck.  Watching and dozing as Colton whispered, “Poppy, I see a real nice deer!” “Where, son” I replied?  Keeping his hand under the blind’s window he pointed toward a nearby mesquite tree and sure enough, tucked into the tree was a very nice buck, but I was afraid there was too many branches for a clear shot, then Colton said, “Poppy, I can hit him in the neck right below his chin.” I replied, “If you’re sure, take him!”

Pow, Colton’s .257 Roberts barked, and the deer crumpled in his tracks!  Colton had hit him dead center!  A fine shot!  “Poppy, I got him,” he said as he jumped up to admire his feat, but I told him, “Boy, let’s give the buck 10 or 15 minutes and make sure he’s done, no sense rushing it.”  In Colton’s case, the objective of the youth hunt was fulfilled. The boy shot a nice buck, received proper training from an adult and, 7 years later, is a successful, careful hunter.

Colton admires his nice buck and is a very happy, youth hunter!

Today, even though he’s now a senior in high school, weighs 200 pounds, has played in 2 State Championship football games winning one, was chosen All-State in 2009 and 2010 and is really into saltwater fishing, he still remembers this hunt.

That afternoon a new ranch rule was also set up, the next buck he takes must be bigger than this one!