Missouri girl's sweetheart guides to first buck
By Amber Leigh Hayes
It was early November during the 2012 youth season when I got my first buck. My boyfriend, Bryce, and I were hunting near Clarence, Mo., as we made our way to our deer stand.
I remember it was dark outside, with no moon or light for us to see the trail. I was just hoping we were going in the right direction as we hurried through the woods.
As we were walking up a hill, Bryce accidentally rolled his ankle in a hole. He wasn't hurt too badly, so we decided to keep going.
We made it to our hay bale stand where we set up our gear and sat waiting for sunrise and for deer to show up.
We'd been sitting for about an hour when a doe walked onto the field.
I raised my .300 and watched through my scope as it grazed about 400 yards away. I could see its brown fur, and I enjoyed watching as it fed around some cedar and pine trees.
It was brisk out and the trees over my head dripped with morning dew when daylight arrived. The doe had been in the field for a while, and I'd been hoping a buck would come out. When one didn't, I decided I might as well try for the doe.
Just as I was about to click off the gun's safety, Bryce suddenly stopped me with a whisper. "Amber, there's a buck to your left by those big green cedars. It's looking at the doe!"
When Bryce said that, I didn't take time to think about the size of the rack or how many points it had. I immediately turned to get ready for a shot and put my crosshairs tightly behind the buck's shoulder.
The buck was zoned in on the doe standing in the field. I waited until the buck stopped walking and found the best possible angle for a shot.
I removed the safety and pulled the trigger. BOOM! It dropped in its tracks!
I turned to Bryce before lifting my gun from the shooting sticks and asked, "Did I get him? Did I?"
When he assured me I'd made a perfect shot, I grinned from ear to ear, happy as I could be about shooting my first buck!
As Bryce and I walked over to it, I could tell for certain it wasn't going anywhere.
I dropped to my knees and picked up my buck's odd-looking rack. It had five points on one side and three on the other - an 8 - pointer!
To me, it's a rack of a lifetime because it's so cool looking.
I admired the smoothness of the beams all the way to the bumpiness of the antler bases. It was an amazing feeling and a wonderful day. And, it's one I will never forget!