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Trevor VanOrman • 10/5/13 • Lane County , Oregon • Rifle

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William Tilley

Big Buck Central

Big Buck 411 Blog


Gunnar Murray

By Mike Handley

Not saying anything was the hard part.

Greg Murray looked from the buck to his 12-year-old son, Gunnar, and then back to the deer. This season is only the boy’s third, so Greg wanted to reassure him, to calm him, or maybe to talk him through squeezing the trigger. At the very least, he wanted to point out that there were two bucks, and the one bringing up the rear was the one Gunnar had been hoping to shoot ever since he saw it on a trail cam photo.

But after handing over the rifle, Greg remained tight-lipped, as if speaking would be the equivalent of an ill-timed cough on a golf course green.

“I felt like I should’ve said something,” Greg smiled. “I was wondering the whole time, ‘Should I be talking to him? Coaching him?’ But I kept my mouth shut because the deer were less than 50 yards from us and staring in our direction.”

Greg’s eyes were on the bigger buck when the crack of the .243 sent both animals fleeing. He saw what his son didn’t: the reaction of a fatally hit deer.

“YOU GOT HIM! YOU GOT HIM!” he almost shouted, reigning the volume as best he could.

Father and son were sharing a camo-shrouded ladder stand about half a mile from their home south of Topeka, Kan., on Sept. 9. The youth and disabled season ran from the 8th through Sept. 16.

“It was awesome,” Greg said. “Gunnar was pretty cool throughout the ordeal.”

The deer hasn’t been measured yet for the BTR. That’ll happen during the Monster Buck Classic in Topeka Jan. 25-27. But its gross B&C green score is 221 4/8 inches.

Gunnar’s story will appear in RACK magazine next summer.

Mike Moussa Andrew Blackwell Justin Pandorf BTR

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