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Help from Dad

Jim Smith
Jim Smith of North Waterboro, Maine, gives credit to his late father for bringing this buck within bow range. 
By Jim Smith

-- I lost my best hunting partner this October. He was my dad, and he was my hero. We loved to hunt together. My dad, Jim, passed away at home early on a Friday morning while I was out hunting. Since then it has been hard to get out there, especially in the mornings.

I have managed to get back into the swing of hunting season, and I put up a new stand Oct. 30. Two days later, I was in the stand looking at a shooter buck and two does around 8 a.m. I did not pay a great deal of attention to its rack, but my quick estimate told me it was a heavy 8-point buck.

The set-up I had was for the buck to pass by me for a quartering away shot, but the does trailing behind the buck made me think twice about drawing back. Eventually, the buck gave me a chance, and I let the Easton ST Axis tipped with a Rage broadhead fly. My shot hit just behind the buck's shoulder blade. I could not believe I had made a perfect shot as the buck took off.

I sat in my stand shaking and thanked my dad for pushing that deer toward me. My friends, Mark and Wally, came by to help me find the deer. After following the trail for about 20 minutes, it sank in that my perfect shot wasn't so perfect. I was feeling sick after we lost the trail.

We continued our trek and saw another hunter looking for a monster buck with at least 12 points that he had arrowed. I told the hunter my story; we wished each other good luck and continued the search.

Two more hours passed before we found the trail again, or so we thought. We found the trophy only to realize it was the other hunter's buck. My heart sank.

The search continued to no avail, and we backed out of the woods for a few hours. We returned to pick up one of the trails we had followed earlier. Another hour passed, and I was ready to give up. Then I heard my friend holler out that he found my deer.

I could not believe my eyes as I walked toward the deer and noticed its rack. I thought another hunter had shot this 18-point monster. Then I noticed where the arrow entered the deer and realized that this beauty was the one I stuck.

I looked up and gave a big thanks to Dad because I know he was the reason we found the deer. Thanks again Dad. I miss ya!

Jim Smith
North Waterboro, Maine

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