posted on February 06, 2012 09:02
By Mike Handley
From all reports, Emma Foreman's mother does not like taxidermy. But having to stare at the glass eyes of a mounted buck is a small price to pay for the smile on her 11-year-old daughter's cherubic face.
She probably doesn't want to think about what'll happen if Emma's little sister or brother happen to shoot deer as big as the one Emma smoked on Sept. 17, 2011.
Had Gerrit Foreman not just begun a two-day shift at the Clive Fire Department nearly 40 miles from their home in Truro, Iowa, he would've taken his daughter hunting on opening day of youth season. But it fell to Uncle BJ to don his bright orange chauffeur's cap.
He took her to the same Warren County treestand where Emma had taken two bucks in seasons past. They arrived at the edge of the hay field to discover the farmer had burned some brush beside the stand; the pile was still smoldering. BJ thought sitting there would be a waste of time, but Emma wanted to climb into the stand anyway.
Gerrit received the day's first text message and photo a short while later.
"It was a picture of Emma with a kitten in her lap," he said, "and the text message said, 'Emma wants to know if she can take this home with her.'"
The cat had literally jumped onto BJ's shoulder after he and his niece climbed into the stand.
"No," Gerrit answered.
Later, while BJ was pulling the cat from his shoulder, he looked up and saw a couple of bucks heading their way. One was a dandy, so he passed his niece the muzzleloader. She'd already declined a chance at a doe.
The bucks popped out of the opposite timber at 80 yards and headed straight for them. The big one stopped halfway across and stared at the duo in the tree, but it didn't have time to process the danger. BJ had already cocked the muzzleloader, and Emma simply pretended she was shooting at a milk jug.
Gerrit received two more messages from his brother before he had to answer a fire call. The first announced that Emma had shot a buck in the 150s; the second, 20 minutes later and after they'd found the deer, said it was more likely in the 180s.
BJ had underestimated the antlers, however. The 15-pointer's BTR composite score is 200 5/8 inches.
Dates to Remember
March 16-18: If you're interested in becoming a Buckmasters scorer, the next measuring class will be held during Circle M Auctions' 11th Annual Whitetail Classic Sport Show and Antler Auction in Dubuque, Iowa's Grand River Center. You'll have to pre-register for the class. This rare opportunity aside, the show attracts truckloads of antlers and serious collectors. For information about the class and to download the pre-registration forms, click HERE.