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When my son was about 11 years old I took him hunting to a place that I had gotten permission to hunt. This was a small place. It was a 40 acreas mostly of thick pine trees that couldn't be hunted it was so thick with the pines and underbrush. But the last ten acres was some of the most beautiful hardwoods you had ever seen. It was sloped on both sides down to a dry creek bed that I tracked and found a place where deer had been crossing. I didn't ever find hardly any buck sign but quite a few tracks of deer. I started carrying corn into this area a couple of months before hunting season, leaving a trail of corn down the edge of all the pine and all the way back to the more open area close to the dry creek and then left a pile of corn there. Plus I would take some of the corn and strow it all over the area.

I searched around and found two trees that were real close together near the crossing and decided these were the trees we would put our climbing stands on.

The morning of the hunt we got up real early and got ready for the hunt and made our way to the stands. I could tell my son was really excited and was hoping for a buck. He hadn't killed a deer yet so It would be his first. I knew this was gonna be a little challenging to accomplish because my son is one of those boys that just can't keep still and two, out of all the times I went down to that area leaving corn I still hadn't seen hardly any buck sign.

This was the first year that Arkansas had established and enforced the three point rule. Which is, a buck had to have at least three points on one side.

We climbed up into our stands and made ourselves as comfortable as possible. The trees were close enough together that I could whisper instructions to him without making much noise or being heard from other wildlife.

After daylight the birds started singing and the squirrels started coming out and playing and gathering acorns. My son kept fidgetting and I kept trying to tell hiim he needed to sit still. Then a squirrel started barking very excitedly and loud not all that far from us. My son asked ,"What is that Daddy?" I told him that was a squirrel sounding a warning. He had either seen you over there moving around or it might have got spooked by a deer.

A few minutes later a real nice long spike appeared out of the woods. I looked over at my son and he was really getting excited. I could tell he wanted to shoot that spike. As bad as I hated it because it would be his first deer, I had to give him a look that said "No".

We sat there watching the spike wonder around and feed on acorns and the corn that I had been leaving there when two more smaller deer came in from behind us. We watched them come in and interact with the spike and start feeding too.

After a little bit and no other deer showed up I decided I would let my son take one of the small deer. After all it would be his first and he needed to get his feet wet by taking a deer. I didn't know if another opportunity would present itself and the little does are legal to take.

I whispered to him to get ready and take that little deer closest to him. He brought his gun up, pulled back the hammer, took aim, and shot the little deer right in the shoulder. I turned to watch the other deer and watch their reactions and to see if another deer jumped that we hadn't noticed. When I turned around and looked I didn't see his deer any where. I asked him , "Where's your deer?" He replied, "I don't know I was busy watching you."

My son whispered, "Daddy I'm shaking all over but I'm not cold." I laughed for I knew he'd been bit and I told him " Me too son, me too."

I explained to him why he was shaking and the rush is one of the things that deer hunters live for. I don't know if he totally understood but he liked it.

We gathered ourselves and climbed down from our stands a little earlier than I would have liked but it had started raining and I was afraid it might go to raining hard enough to wash away any blood trail.

After gettting down and looking around I was surprised that I couldn't find any blood. But after talking to my son a little about his shot placement I found out why. He had shot the deer square in the shoulder not behind it. I thought to myself that we might not find this deer and that would be devastating to my son with it being his first.

I looked around the area and I told him,"Well I bet he went this way up towards that hill and thicker cover. "

We started walking towards the hill where the dry creek curved and went around the hill still looking for sign that the little deer had gone that way. When we approached the bend in the creek and could see down in it there lay my son's deer all piled up in the dry creek bed.

We climbed down into the creek bed and I told my son to roll the deer over to see where he hit him and as we were rolling the deer over my sons eyes lit up and I exclaimed, "Whoa, that deers got more equipement that he was suppose to have.

It was a little slick head buck!

My son got all excited. "I got my buck Daddy", he exclaimed several times.

I said, "You sure did!"

He was thrilled to death. It may have not had horns or nothng but it was still a buck to him and that was all that mattered, and it being his first deer and seeing him that excited about it was all that mattered to me.
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