By Joey Saffell Jr.
-- It was early in the morning on the second day of youth season. While it was
dark, we made our way into the woods. We went to our neighbor, Roger Cales',
place to hunt. It is only about a quarter-mile from my house. He told us he
had seen a nice buck, and it was killing his baby trees by rubbing them.
After missing a 16-point buck the day before, I didn't think I would get another chance at a buck. I sat down to wait, hoping it would be back today. I was ready to give up on the buck then I saw antlers moving in the brush. I wanted to shoot and my dad told me to wait and let it come into the field.
The buck walked out into the field with a few does. I just sat and watched, forgetting to aim. It took my breath away. All I could think was, "Don't miss." It was a monster. Then my dad touched me, and I remembered what I was going to do.
When the buck was 65 to 70 yards away, I shot. I knew I connected, but the buck an. I followed the trail, with my dad and mom behind me. We split up to look for it. My sister went with me. I told them, "Don't lose my buck!" I found him about 10 yards into the woods. I started yelling for my mom and dad, "I found him! I found him! He's a 10-pointer."
My mom and dad got there and they counted. They told me he was a 12-point buck. I couldn't believe it. A twelve! It was the biggest deer I had seen up close. My mom said a point for each year of my life since I was 12 at the time. It may not have been the 16-pointer, but this buck is just as good.
My dad told me he was proud of me and wanted to know what I thought. The only thing I could say was, "Mom, this one goes on the wall." My mom didn't want a deer head on the wall. We made the agreement if I got another deer as big as last year's (an 11-point buck) she would let me get it mounted. She only agreed because she didn't think I would get another nice one.
They made me drag it through the woods to the truck. My sister and mom helped me because he was so big. We could barely get him into the truck. My dad was laughing at us. He finally helped us.
I took it to Roger so he could see it. He took pictures because his friends told him we didn't have big deer around here. My uncles, Doug, Travis and Clint, told me it was a very good buck, and I should get it mounted. They said I will never get another one as nice. My mom said "I wouldn't say that."
We took it to our friend Jim to have it mounted. I kept bugging my mom and dad about how long it would take to get it back. Finally, Jim told my dad it was done. I had my mom go down that night and get it. Everyone told me to get it scored for Buckmasters Whitetail Trophy Records. So my dad's friend Dean told him to take it to Shane in Barnesville to have it scored. I didn't think it would make it, but it did. I took a record deer at age 12. I'm now 13.
This deer is on my wall. This year I will try it again, I can't wait for the season to start. The hat I have on in the pictures, my grandma and pap gave to me three years ago. That is when I started hunting. My pap passed away two years ago so I will continue to take the hat with me. I know it looks funny but I know he is watching and he is proud of me.
Joey Saffell Jr.
Powhatan Point, Ohio