Smalltown Bucks

Congratulations, Dad!

Congratulations, Dad!

By Aaron Rippstein

Sometimes the best bucks are the ones taken by the people we love.

I wanted to share this buck taken by my dad, Rob, on Nov. 4, 2017 in Highland County, Ohio.

Growing up in southern California didn’t offer many opportunities to go deer hunting, so when my family moved to Ohio in 1992, my father wanted to try something different. It didn’t happen right away, but eventually he was obsessed with whitetails. His buddies at work got the momentum going, and it eventually led to one of my father’s most proud moments.

I remember Dad’s first buck bow kill in about 2009. My brother and I left our spots and drove to where my father was hunting. We got out of the truck and started walking to help haul out stands and gear. When we got to about 100 feet from the truck, we found a nice buck dead on the ground. We had figured Dad had already dragged the deer out and went back for his stand, so we dragged hauled it to the truck and threw it into the bed.

Come to find out, Dad had shot the buck, but it had run to that spot before falling over. Dad was disappointed that he wasn’t the one to find his first bow kill, but he was thrilled nevertheless.

Years later in early November, while hunting a new spot, he got the chance for his dream to come true. It was late afternoon when this monster came strolling along. Everything finally came together thanks to Dad’s time, effort, dedication and persistence.

Since it wasn’t a perfect shot, we didn’t go after the buck right away. It was a long night for Dad, and with as much trouble as I had sleeping, I’m sure he didn’t get any. When morning arrived, we took up the trail, and it wasn’t long before we found King Kong, as we named him.

It was my dad’s biggest deer ever by any means, gun or bow, and it marked a new level of achievement for his whitetail hunting experience. I don’t know anybody who deserves this more than that man. I’m so proud of my father for staying with it and never quitting. Congratulations, Dad!

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