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Buck! Buck! Buck!

Dylan Belcher

Virginia father and son duo get it done with a shotgun

By Christopher Belcher (Dylan's Dad)

My 10-year-old son Dylan and I love to go deer hunting. We cherish the time we spend together outdoors, and the 2012 season was no exception.

Dylan and I had already experienced successful seasons together in years past, and for several months we'd anxiously awaited the opening day of Virginia's 2012 gun season. We couldn't wait to head to the woods together again.

When the season finally arrived, we participated in a traditional dog hunt on our hunting club's property in Sussex. We made our setup on the edge of a new cutover, in hopes the dogs would push a nice buck our way.

I situated Dylan on the top of a large dirt mound where he could sit beside me and hear my coaching as I stood close by.

Dylan BelcherWe were listening for the dogs and watching the cutover carefully when suddenly Dylan whispered, "Buck! Buck! Buck!"

Dylan was about five feet off the ground and positioned where he had a clear view of a large buck approaching in the tall grass but, from my angle, I simply could not see all of it.

I asked, "Where is he?"

"He's right there, Dad, about 40 yards away!" Dylan urgently replied.

Still, I couldn't see the buck, but Dylan had his gun up and ready, and I was confident he could make the call.

"If it's a good buck and you have a clear shot, then shoot it! I said.

Dylan aimed and pulled the trigger on his 20-gauge shotgun. Boom!

I was finally able to see a full view of the buck as it ran into the open. I could tell Dylan's shot slammed it hard, and watched as the monster made it to a nearby creek, stopped and toppled into the water.

We approached the downed deer and quickly dispatched it with one final shot. It was a massive 10-pointer with long tines!

I have been very fortunate in my life to have taken big bucks of my own, but I can honestly say I get much more satisfaction from helping my wife and son take deer of their own.

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