By Buckmasters Heart of Texas Chapter
December 6 was a special day for the Buckmasters Heart of Texas Chapter, and for the family of Seth Simpson. We had the privilege to take Seth to a local deer management ranch for a hunt of a lifetime.
Seth was diagnosed with cancer at age 16. He turned 18 on the day of the hunt, and everyone wanted to make Seth’s birthday special.
Seth was accompanied by his cousin, Dawn Geron, and they arrived at the ranch Friday evening. They were greeted by chapter president Tim Schoen, chapter youth director Larry Hart, and the ranch staff. The staff prepared a nice deer steak supper for everyone and got Seth settled in for the weekend stay.
Seth must not have slept much that first night; he was dressed and ready to go when we arrived. There wasn’t enough room in the blind for everyone who wanted to go, but Tim drew the long straw and got to go on the hunt.
Time passed slowly that first morning as everyone was anxious for Seth to take a quality buck. When the deer came in late that morning, everyone got excited to see a 165-inch bruiser in the group. Seth couldn’t get it in his sights, so everyone decided to take it easy and head out again that afternoon.
In the meantime, the lodge staff had prepared a surprise Birthday Party for Seth. When he and Dawn walked into the lodge, everyone gathered around to sing Happy Birthday. After cake and ice cream, the ranch owners presented Seth with a fountain pen made from the antler of a buck that came off the ranch. After the party, it was time for Seth to head back out to the blind.
Several young 10-pointers came in, along with an exceptional 185-inch 10-pointer that got to within 60 yards of the blind. The guide said the buck was about 4 1/2 years old and pointed out its broken brow tines. We debated what to do, but Seth finally decided it would be a shame to shoot such a magnificent buck that had the potential of growing 200 inches of antler the next year.
It was getting late when we all began to get anxious about seeing the 165-inch buck we had already begun calling "Seth’s Buck." Finally, as the last few minutes of shooting light arrived, Seth made the decision to try to take a big 8-pointer. There had been a 6-year-old, short-tined 8-pointer hanging around all evening.
Seth put the crosshairs of his scope on the buck when a tall-tined 8-pointer stepped into view. "Seth, hold off. Look what’s coming down the road."
With just two or three minutes of daylight remaining, Seth got the new buck in his sights and squeezed off a shot. There was no mistaking the sound of the hit. We reviewed the video and waited a few minutes before getting down to recover Seth’s buck. As we got to the spot in the road where the buck had stood, there wasn’t any sign of a hit. Full of confidence from watching the video, we followed an obvious deer trail off the road and found Seth’s buck. It had gone only about 15 yards. Seth’s dream of a mature whitetail buck for the wall had finally come true.