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Smitten with Missouri

Daugherty
Darrell Daugherty, left, took this Missouri buck and had a hard time convincing his son, Jason, to hunt the same area the following day. Eventually, the younger Daugherty followed his dad's request and punched a tag, too.
By Jason Daugherty

-- I started hunting white-tailed deer when I moved to Missouri four years ago, and I have been "ate up" with it ever since. During the last two years, my dad, Darrell, and I have hunted together. It seems like he outdoes me every year, but a new piece of hunting ground would put the odds in my favor this season.

It was 7:30 a.m. and the third day of rifle season when I got a phone call at work from my dad. Out of breath, he said, "I smoked a monster." A monster to my dad is 110-inch deer or so I thought. I told him I was busy and that I would call him later. Twenty minutes went by and the phone rang. It was my dad. He sounded like he was going to fall over.

He said he needed me to help him get the deer out of the woods. When I pulled up, he was sitting on the ground and was out of breath. The entire time we were walking, my dad was talking about how earlier that morning he had seen a big deer but that he didn't think that was the one he shot. As we got to the bottom of the hill, he ran up to his deer and started to talk about how big his deer was. It was a good deer for the county we live in. The local outdoors shop scored him at 139 1/8 inches.

He wanted me to hunt the area for the other big deer. I told him I did not want to waste my time because I did not think there was another deer of that size in the area. After relentless prodding from my dad, I finally gave in. The following day found me sitting in the same spot my dad took up the day before. Around 7:30 a.m., a big buck came up the same path, and I was able to make a clean shot. The buck scored 129 1/8. My dad outdid me again!

So, to all you sons out there, no matter how old you are, when your dad tells you to do something it is not always a bad idea to do it. Remember, where there is one big buck there could be another.

Jason Daugherty
De Soto, Missouri

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