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An Old Friend

PhillipsBy John C. Phillips Jr.

-- I have put in many hard hours to grow and maintain the proper food sources that attract and grow quality white-tailed deer. For the past seven to eight years, I have planted many food plots as well as a variety of trees.

While there have been several bucks harvested on my property, there is a monster 12-point buck has eluded me for a few years. For some reason this buck would only travel around 3 a.m. I have seen several of his offspring but none have compared. The buck's most dominate trait is the big white spots around its eyes.

Not only do I give the deer herd a well-rounded diet, I video them. I was drawn close to a set of twin bucks for three years. The brothers ran together every year, even during the rut. This past year the pair came out of the woods with some impressive head gear. All the while, I spent many hours in my treestand just watching them feed and learning their patterns.

Then bow season arrived, and I could not climb into that treestand because I had a special bond with these two bucks. Those three years I spent watching the bucks were overwhelming.

On the third day of bow season, my wife talked me into getting back up in the stand. She said if I did not take one of these bucks then another hunter certainly would. Her words just kept ringing in my head. When the time finally came to release the string, my heart was torn. Do I finally take the biggest buck I have ever had a chance at? My hunting instincts took over, and five minutes later the deer I'd admired for three years was down.
 
My emotions were torn. Here I was holding a trophy 8-point buck, realizing that this was the last time I would see this magnificent animal interact with its brother. As it stands, the buck now hangs on my wall, and I still watch its brother out in the fields.

John C. Phillips Jr.
Clintwood, Virginia

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