USMC son Face Times mom overseas to share her 2013 BBD moment
By Donna Shaver
I was hunting in North Carolina on a very cold Veteran’s Day morning in 2013 with my 73-year-old, handicapped father when the flash of antlers caught our attention.
Quickly, as the buck moved through the pines, I lifted my Savage muzzleloader into position and peered through my binoculars as the rack headed toward an opening.
“Wow, he has some really tall points,” I whispered to my Dad, James Potts. “What do you think?”
He was looking intently through his Nikon binoculars as the buck stepped into an opening, and began to rub its antlers on tree branches.
“I don't know what you’re waiting on,” Dad said, “because I would’ve already pulled the trigger!”
The only reason I hesitated was because I’d had my heart set on a big drop-tined buck we’d seen on our trail cameras.
As I paused, still trying to make up my mind, my dad asked the obvious question. “Well, whatcha gonna do?”
Realizing Dad knew a great buck when he saw one, I acted quickly. I took careful aim at the wide-antlered buck’s shoulder and fired — 126 yards from our stand.
At the shot, the buck donkey-kicked and ran back into the pines.
Because I’d expected it to drop on the spot, I immediately questioned myself and asked my dad if he could find my dead buck anywhere through his binoculars.
He said he couldn't see anything because he was shaking so badly from the excitement! We both started laughing, enjoying the moment, but I was still anxious.
I said, “Wonder why he ran off?”
Dad laughed. “Where were you aiming?”
I told him I always shoot for the shoulder, unless I’m hunting with a bow, of course.
“Well, you hit him SOMEWHERE, because he kicked before he took off.”
I wasn’t nearly as shaken as Dad, but I was still concerned that the buck didn’t drop on the spot.
While I was pondering my shot placement, more bucks started coming in, including another nice one. Dad was still snickering at my reaction, as well as how excited he’d gotten, and I told him to be quiet.
He tried in vain to glass the newly arriving bucks and whispered. “Look at me! I STILL can’t see anything because I’m shaking so bad … I can’t hold the binoculars still!”
Immediately, I sent text messages to my husband Lynn as well as my son, Marine Cpl. Jeremy Shaver, who was serving overseas in Israel at that time.
I texted that I‘d shot a nice one, but it ran into the woods. Lynn told me to wait for one full hour.
I thought, an hour? Has he lost his mind? This isn’t a bow hunt.
While waiting, we watched other deer, including a buck making a scrape. After a good 45 minutes, I couldn't wait any longer, so I whispered to my dad. “Let’s go!”
We got down and continuing to laugh and enjoy the moment, but when we got to the spot where the buck had stood, there was no blood. I began to get anxious, and started toward the woods to search. Still, I found no blood.
Knowing I’m not a bad shot, and knowing my ammo has never let me down before, I knew the buck HAD to be nearby.
Suddenly, I looked up and I saw something brown and down about 70 yards away. It was my buck!
“WOO HOO!” I shouted.
My handicapped father got there as fast as he could, and we both enjoyed the blast of excitement.
Lynn and Jeremy were blowing up my phone with texts, wanting news on my buck. Lynn texted that he and my mom were on their way.
Then, I got a great, unexpected surprise. My US Marine Corps son FaceTimed me from Israel on my iPhone, and he joined in our excitement!
I aimed my phone at the buck so Jeremy could see it, too. He laughed, shouted, bragged on me and enjoyed sharing the moment with me and Dad.
When my husband and mom drove up, the fun began all over again.
This is the biggest buck I’ve ever taken. Celebrating the moment with my son stationed in Israel, plus my dad, mom and husband is a very blessed lifetime event, and one I will never forget.
What a PERFECT Veteran’s Day!