A.J. Post’s story could be called The Case of the Disappearing Bullet, since nobody could find the .50-caliber chunk of lead responsible for the hole in his buck’s heart. There was an entry, but not an exit hole.
The lack of blood explains why the 16-year-old and his father, Michael, had to search for hours before they stumbled across it.
The tale could also be titled The Boy Who Wouldn’t Give Up, testament to A.J.’s faith in his marksmanship. Because the deer ran uphill after absorbing the bullet, obviously not leaking very much, Michael was convinced his son had only grazed the animal.
Yet another lead-in might read: How to Send Your Father to a Chiropractor.
It took two hours for them to wrangle the dead buck off the mountain, even though much of the drag was downhill.
Rather than follow the high ground back to A.J.’s parked UTV, father and son chose to drag the deer down the hillside to a creek, and then follow it to a pasture.
“Dad’s back was giving out, and I was having a hard time.,” A.J. said. “I weigh 140 pounds, and the deer weighed more than I do.”
On Oct. 23, a Wednesday, A.J. rushed home from Ozark High School so he could squeeze in an evening hunt. He’d originally planned to sit in a ladder stand in a big hollow, but that didn’t happen.
“It was blowing right down the hollow, right toward where I expected the deer to come from,” he said. “I wound up carrying a 5-gallon bucket with me, and I sat on it. I just put it down beside a fallen cedar tree.”
Two and half hours later when the Arkansas teenager was about to call it a day, he saw something moving on one of the hillsides.
“A squirrel had been barking up the hill, and I’d been looking that way anyway. That’s the only reason I noticed the deer coming down the mountain. It was thick over there, and there were just little patches of light in the shadows.
“It was probably between 65 and 70 yards away,” he continued. “I knew it was him, the deer we called Kaiser Pete. I recognized that big fan of antlers immediately.”
This buck, soon to be scored for the BTR, is the kid’s fourth deer ever.
— Read Recent Blog! When the Wow Factor Trumps Score: While a 151-inch whitetail might be considered a buck of a lifetime by many, including yours truly (my best in 50 seasons tallies 150), it’s not ordinarily considered a truly world-class animal.