By Michael Glenn Jr.
-- Although I now live in Alabama, I was born in Mt. Vernon, Ill. Every Thanksgiving, I go back home to hunt with my father for six or seven days. This is the only time we get to spend together in the woods.
Whenever our holiday reunion nears, I'm like a kid in a candy store, waiting for the cashier to ring up my purchase.
Dad has a hard time walking long distances because of his bad knees. So he always hunts for the first three days, and then he takes a break.
On the first day of our 2008 hunt, I saw an 8-pointer at the bottom of the hill next to a CRP field. Dad was at the opposite end of the field, and could see the deer as well. But the buck offered neither of us a shot. I shot over a smaller cull buck the next day.
On the fourth day (Thanksgiving), Dad slept in and I went out by myself. I never like going without him, but I love to bowhunt. Deer began moving along the ridge behind me at sunrise. During the rut, it is hard to predict where the deer will be, so I just stay put in my climbing stand on top of the ridge.
About the time my wife sent me a text message on my cell phone, I spotted something moving about 80 yards to the north. It was a buck, walking toward me, and my heart started racing. Even though I'd been hunting since age 10, I'd never shot a buck with my bow.
I looked for the path I thought the deer would take and for possible shot windows. The whole time, I was wishing my father was there to see this.
The deer eventually walked right under my stand. It stopped about 10 yards away and turned broadside. I couldn't have asked for a better shot. I let the arrow fly, it hit the mark, and the deer bolted. Afterward, I sat down and cried tears of joy while trying to catch my breath.
I couldn't wait to text my wife and father to let them know that I'd just shot a buck. They always think I'm kidding when I text them. But Dad said he was on the way to help me track it. He's good at that.
We followed the trail for about 80 yards before I saw the deer lying on a hillside. I took off running and started jumping up and down when I reached it. Dad said I looked like a little kid getting a brand new bike for Christmas, only this was better.
There is nothing in this world that could top the excitement of being able to find my first bow buck with Dad's help.
Michael D Glenn Jr.
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