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The Family That Hunts Together Stays Together

AlexanderBy Ray Alexander

-- I've always put in long hours bowhunting, but with my 11-year-old son Ray Alexander III coming of hunting age, all we did was hunt squirrels for weeks. Finally, I decided to take a few hours to walk the ridge with my bow.

I had sat down at the edge of a thicket on a gas line for about an hour and a half, thinking how bad my knees and other body parts hurt. Like so many of you in the same situation, I kept asking myself if all the pain and effort was worth it. I also began to wonder how many more years I would be able to enjoy this great sport of bowhunting. I couldn’t help asking God for a little help with sending a buck my way.

Maybe it was divine intervention, but about 10 minutes later, a massive buck stepped out onto the gas line clearing at 75 yards. Just happy to see such a animal, I tried to take a photo. Of course the camera wouldn't work. But that was a good thing, because the sun was starting to set, and I’m sure the flash would have gone off and caused the buck to spook.

As I put down the camera, the buck turned and looked toward me. I thought, “What are the chances he’ll walk my way?” Well, he just kept walking until he was within 15 feet -- yes, 15 feet and looking directly at me as I was on my knees at full draw.

Fortunately for me, I had already drawn the bow by the time the buck looked my way, and I took the shot. The buck bolted over the side of the ridge. I knew I had made a good shot to the center of the neck, but I decided not to push the deer, anyway.

I went back to my ATV and headed home, my heart racing. I called my wife, Shirl, and told her what had happened, so she and Ray came to help with the recovery. I also called my good friend K.C.

We all traveled back to the spot and picked up the blood trail. The buck went a long way, probably six flats down the mountain. Even with K.C.’s help, there was no way we could get the deer back up the ridge. Shirl saved the day by heading back to the top and going to enlist more help.

She has hunted with me for more than 20 years, and and I couldn't have done it without her. I wanted to include her and Ray in the picture, so that’s who you see -- Shirl, Ray and me -- with my buck.

The bruiser buck was a 10-pointer with a 20 3/4-inch spread and a 3 1/2-inch drop tine.

Ray Alexander
Chapmanville, W.V.

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