Second Chance Buck

The 2009 Rifle deer season started with high hopes in mind. My father had archery hunted the same unit and had seen some nice looking bucks. I bow hunted the previous year and saw about ten different 4-points and ended up taking a first year forked horn. After knowing what kind of bucks were in the area, I couldn’t resist not getting a rifle tag.

I’ve always shot smaller bucks in the past and wanted a good one this year. It was an area we have come to know very well over the past few years and knew there were some nice bucks in the area. Friday before season I went out scouting and found a nice 3 point and said I would take him if there were a lot of people out there, just like there is in all public land hunting.

A nice 3 point.
A nice 3 point.

That buck would have been the nicest buck if I were able to get him. Opening morning came and a little 4 point got shot about 100 yards away from us, we saw it all happen and there were people everywhere. Right after that buck got shot the 3 point was making his way up and just as I was going to get ready for a shot I spot a very nice buck down the hill and decide I am going to pass on the 3 point and go after that 4 point down the hill. A few seconds later the 3 point gets shot at, but apparently was missed. We make a stock down on the 4 point and seeing his size the whole time was getting me excited. I have never shot a 4 point let alone one this size. We sneak down to within 200 yards of where we last saw him and we cannot locate him anywhere. There are only 2 or 3 junipers but we should be able to see him, after 5 minutes or so of talking with my dad about what to do next, he jumps up and runs off from the junipers and I take two shots and rushed them a little bit and missed both times. I was upset over him the entire weekend, I couldn’t let myself live that moment down. We did everything right except make a good shot. The rest of the weekend had me thinking about that 4 point the entire time I was out hunting. After Sunday was over, I passed on about 10 bucks that were all smaller deer.

I had time to go out Monday morning before I had to be back for school at 2. I sat in the same spot I did every morning and as soon as it was light I could see deer all over the hill and noticed the 3 point and at this point I was going to take the first buck I saw. After glassing all the deer I decide to wait for him to come up to me. I lost sight of him for a while and then out of nowhere walks up a 4 point and two smaller bucks. Talk about getting caught off guard I was standing next to a tree with my rifle on my shoulder with that buck at 100 yards staring at me. Luckily he didn’t see me so I quickly dropped to a knee and got the shooting sticks ready and steadied the rifle, I thought to myself that second chances don’t come by like this too often. I was waiting for him to stop walking, but I was steadied right behind his shoulder so as soon as he made the last step I took the shot and it dropped him in his tracks. I have never been so happy walking up and seeing antlers sticking up through sagebrush. Usually it is hard to see the antlers until we pick their heads up. I couldn’t have asked for a better buck out there. It is in the exact same area where I missed the 4 point the first time as well as where I shot my first buck. My dad thinks the buck I missed on opening day was bigger, but either way I couldn’t be happier. Definitely the biggest buck I have ever taken, will be hard to beat this one on public land.

The buck that give me the second chance.

The buck that give me the second chance.

 I believe that the picture below shows the buck the year before. I took this picture during bow season after I had already filled my tag.

The buck the year before

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About the Author

Seth Webb

Seth Webb

Seth Webb is from Redmond, Oregon, and enjoys elk, chukar, and quail hunting, as well as shed hunting.