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River Rat Buck

PhotoBy Steven Vaughn

-- Last year when I was living in Indiana, I was laid off from my job as a trucking dispatcher just before deer hunting season started. As you could imagine, it didn't hurt my feelings any because I could then dedicate all my time to getting that big deer.

It was unusually warm last deer season, and it rained quite a bit. I remember it like it was yesterday. There was only three days left of gun season, and I hadn't seen a single deer. It seemed like the season was going to close without giving me even a look at a buck, let alone a shot.

It was Friday morning and it had been raining for the last four days without an end in sight. All of a sudden, a light bulb went off in my head. I knew that I needed to go to the river. I figured the deer would be flooded out of the area and would be moving around. So I told my wife I was going to Brownsville, to some state land that I am really familiar with.

When I arrived, I got out of my truck, and in about 15 minutes, I spotted a 10-point buck looking for a calm place to cross the river. I went around the buck and down the river about 100 yards away. I sat and watched it head right at me. The buck closed to within 50 yards. I raised my 12-gauge Winchester pump and dropped the buck in its tracks.

Steven Vaughn
Gate City, Virginia

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