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Second Chance Buck

Dennis E. BlackBy Dennis E. Black

-- For the past seven years, I have hunted at a friend's place in Polk County, Fla. Over the years I have seen some big bucks, and in the 2007 season, I managed to take one of these impressive central Florida bucks.

My first encounter with this buck happened four weeks earlier during bow season. I though I had blown my chance at taking the buck because it spotted my blind or smelled me. The buck started snorting and would not come any closer than where I first saw it at 85 yards away, so I simply sat back and enjoyed the show. I was sure that I would not see this buck in the same field for the rest of the season.

Flash forward to Nov. 27, 2007. I was hunting the same field with my rifle. This time the wind was in my favor, and I knew exactly where the deer were bedded. The set up was perfect. As daylight approached, I saw six deer feeding on acorns next to three oak trees along the edge of a wooded swamp. The acorn crop in central Florida was plentiful. 

As 9:15 a.m. rolled around, the buck came into view. By 9:25, the round from my Remington .270 rifle connected, and the buck ran 65 yards into the swamp from where it had been eating under the oaks. I was very happy to say the least when I finally saw it on the ground. What makes this buck so special to me is that fact that I have watched it grow for the past three years.

My friend's property is just a few miles from where the state record buck was harvested in 1999. The land is part of what is known as the black belt, which runs through the center of Florida.

Dennis E. Black
Mulberry, Florida

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