Wanted: First Buck Stories and Photos

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See that strapping, bare-chested lad in this photo? That’s me, some years ago, with my first buck, a 7-pointer that I shot during a youth hunt in Ballard County, Kentucky. That’s my older cousin, Casey, on the right. Casey didn’t get a deer that morning and I think he was mad at me at the time, but he got one a little later, so everything ended on a good note. (And I'm not exactly sure what happened to my shirt, but like most 10-year-old redneck boys, if I saw an opportunity to lose the shirt, play in the mud, shoot a gun or catch a snake, I usually took it.)

I’ve killed quite a few deer in several states since that one, but to this day, I can remember that first buck in detail. Dad and I were sitting against an oak tree in a river bottom. It was around 11 in the morning, and I’d already blown chances at two other bucks. We were eating a can of sardines for lunch (scent control didn’t really mean much to me in those days) when I spotted this buck walking through the woods at about 70 yards. I rested my rifle on Dad’s shoulder and took the shot. The buck fell in his tracks. He field-dressed 137 pounds. Though I’m holding Casey’s .30-30 in the photo, I actually shot the buck with a Model 70 .243.

Point is, first bucks aren’t something you forget—and that’s why we want to spend some time talking about them on the Brow Tines and Backstrap blog. E-mail the photos and stories from the first bucks in your life to rackreport@realtree.com, and we’ll pick the best ones to share here. It can be a buck of your own, or one your granddaughter shot. Size doesn't matter. Ten-pointer or forkhorn—we’re just looking for good stories from happy hunters, and the more, the merrier!