New member
Dec 15, 2000
Aksai, Kazakhstan via Covington Louisiana

The Christmas Buck

It is a late November afternoon here in Bangkok and as I look out of the window at the ducks across the lake, something inside of me returns my attention to the set of tickets on the computer desk and the itinerary clearly showing the departure date. As I do almost every week, I glance at the calendar, with the same longing gaze as a child would in counting down the days to Christmas. 20 days left to go, god that seems like a lifetime !

I look again as if it will speed the days along and read, flight departure December 11th, at 05:45 from Bangkok to Tokyo, to Minneapolis, Minneapolis to Savannah Georgia. I notice an entry on my booking routing me to away from my family to Traverse City Michigan. That is where my first hunt of this season will start. This year I decided to book with Mr. Jim Lefeve, owner of Record Buck Plantation in Fife Lake Michigan. This will be my first sanctuary type hunt, but as my vacation times for this year is long after the rut, I decided I would try this operation ran by a fellow SCI member, in hopes of taking a nice Michigan buck.

Deer Season has always been a major part of my families yearly tradition. From running the hounds, Bow hunting and sitting in a blind with a 30-06 or 7MM for endless hours in the cold rain waiting for the "mythical monster" that a friend of a friend has saw on this property several times but never got a clear shot.

My thoughts jump back to the present and to the 91 degree heat outside. I called a few friends back home earlier this week and since the season opened on the 16th of last month. I listen with envy to the tales of the nice 155 class buck taken by this one and the super 10 pointer taken by that one out of my old stands. I listen with the utmost of interest,but yet I am forced to hold back envy, bite my lip and just calmly respond "Good for them, I thought he was still around"!

Yes, I am sure we have all experienced this feeling on more than one occasion. Indeed envy is a common feeling for those not getting to go on the hunt while others are taking the trophies that could have been ours or were taken from our "secret hot spot". Anyway lets get to the point.
You can hunt the world over and have success with the game you choose to pursue. It may be Africa, Asia, Alaska, Canada or the Yukon, but when all is said and done, there is always a special place and type hunting that calls you back again and again.

For me this special place is a track of woods behind my home on boardering a corn field and the Savannah River bottoms. Spending 10 months of every year living in Thailand's heat, makes me long for the winter afternoons sitting in the stand waiting for the next Boone and Crockett to slip through the thicket.

Every year I return home for the majority of December and until the season ends in January, not just to hunt but to spend this special time of the holiday season enjoying the fruits of the past 10 months labor. OK, so I am not being completely truthful about the hunting part, but something about the thoughts of coming inside and sitting by the fire to shake off the chill from sitting in a tree for the past 5 hours makes me smile on the roughest of days.

The following story is from my last years December and January trip home. I expected this to be the typical come home, hunt around the house, maybe book a few days and hunt on various plantations and clubs owned by friends and family. But as you continue, you will see that this last years season was an exception to the rule.

Like other hunts in places from the jungles of Burma, the plains of Africa and the hills and muskeg of Northern Canada, this evening was one that will stay in my mind for the rest of my life.

Just a little after 14:00 on December 24th, I slowly ascended with my climbing stand up a tall pine overlooking a narrow strip of oaks the bordered a cut corn field and some of the thickest swamp that man was never designed to tread. I have hunted this same spot over the past 5 years and have spotted some decent bucks, but had never clicked off the safety.

I have always hoped that letting the smaller bucks pass would one day pay off in producing a true trophy. As I can only consume a small portion of the meat, I have grown from a meat hunter whose goal was to fill the freezer , into someone that enjoys watching the deer and seeing how each has matured during my past 10 month absence.(No Marvin I do not have them named!)

Following these methods finally paid off on this day indeed! After about 45 minutes after getting set up and as comfortable as one possibly can in a climbing stand. I caught a slight hint of movement in the thicket. My mind shifted from my current thoughts Santa Claus coming to see my little girl and the annual Shriners Christmas ball, to the movement in thicket. As I focused my attention on the area where the movement was noticed. Two young does materialized and cautiously work their way out into the edge of the field to graze on some winter oats planted along the edge of the now harvested corn field.

After hunting deer all my life I still get a rush when I watch these beautiful animals in the wild. For me it is not the kill, but the relaxation of being at peace with nature and enjoying the outdoors. This is what makes hunting so wonderful for many of us. This afternoon was turning out to be wonderful, with cool temperatures in the mid 40's overcast and only the slightest of breeze. I was just happy to be back in my home State enjoying the outdoors and the cool crisp air entering my lungs with each breath. During moments in life such as this, all stress, worries and other negative feelings are inconceivable. Asia is a place that I only imagine exists. Right now is reality and life at its finest. This is what life is to me and any other way would be less than acceptable.

As I watched the two does continue to graze towards my stand, I could feel a rush starting to grow from watching these two I knew something was about to happen. These two does seemed a little too on guard as they continuously stop grazing constantly and return their attention to the thicket. It was easy to keep focused just watching the two does, but instinct kept telling me a third deer remained in the thick brush behind them.

Then my heart started to pound even harder as a nice young 6 point stepped out to greet the two does. The primary rut had been over for better than a month, but it seemed that no one had relayed this to the immature bucks libido. As he started to chase after the smaller of the two does around the corner of the field closer to the position were I sat motionless, I admit I was amused with his behaviour during this time of the year. The largest of the two does seemed determined to avoid any unwanted intentions the small 6 point had to offer and slowly returned to the thicket from where she came. The thought of putting him on the ground was passing through my mind, but after letting this size deer walk so many times before, I decided to watch the show.

The 6 point continued to pursue the doe until she had made up her mind to return to the company of her female companion in the thicket. I felt almost let down as I watched the last two of the trio return into the thicket. It seemed that the entertainment was over for the evening. Or so I thought!

I continue to scan the field and watched the light slowly start to fade beyond the tree line but kept my attention to the edges hoping that my entertainment would return. I knew that in less than a half hour this would be the end of another vacation day hunt. I smiled as I watched the two does return to the oats to continue their interrupted meal. As the light slowly dimmed to the point that I was ready to climb down, I caught the sight of two other deer stepping out into the field. I did not want to spook my entertainment so decided to stay until I could no longer see.

As soon as that thought crossed my mind a fifth "Shadow" appeared in the field. I could clearly see horns but could not determine his size at 100 yards. I slowly shifted to bring my binoculars up to check this new intruder out. I am not sure, but I think that my jaw hit the ground when I got a clear glimpse of his wide rack in the quickly fading light.

I decided that the wait was over, he was indeed a keeper. I braced my 7 mm Remington on the limb of the pine, adjusted the scope to 4 power and squeezed the trigger.

The buck took a huge jump kicking his back legs high and landed to remain forever motionless. I was surprise to see that the other deer had only ran 20 or so yards and stopped to determine where the shot came from before trotting into the thicket.

I knew that this was a nice buck, but never realized actually how big he was until I walked up to him. He was indeed a trophy in my book. I weighed him on the scales at our camp skinning shed and confirmed what two of us loading him already knew. 226 pounds on the hoof with a 22 1/4' spread. That is BIG for a Georgia deer. As I admired this wonderful a trophy animal, I was certain that this nice 9 point was the same 6 point I watched from the same spot just 364 days ago. My how he had grown into a true trophy.

I called my family to look at the future member to the trophy room. They were happy with my success, but were not holding back to quickly reminded me of the dinner ball at the Shrine club.

The dinner was as far from my mind as the office in Thailand. I had a mission and worked cautiously to ensure that the capping was done to perfection. I have never been or would consider myself as "Joe Six Pack Hunter". But for some reason at this moment I would much rather be in a nice set of well worn Camo, than the penguin suit they call a tux!

After washing up and sending the deer to the processor, we headed to the shrine ball without saying many words during our drive. My mind was reliving the shot and I can only guess that my wife was wondering if she would be the only one who smell the hint of "Doe in Heat" that seemed to linger.

This indeed is a special time of the season for all of us. As I sit here closing out this story, I look again at the air tickets and wonder what this year will hold in store. I just hope we all have a very safe and happy holidays and may we meet again soon in the woods. Until then happy holidays to each of you.

And remember no matter how long you showeror how much soap and shampoo you use, deer lure stays under the skin for a day or so. My helpful hint is to use alot of cologne. This mixture is sure to make a unique sent that even party guest usually confuse with the latest of the Ralph Lauren collection. Heck, maybe i have come into a new fragrance for the market!! Lets see what next Christmas holds.




New member
Jan 9, 2001
Shoshoni WY
#1 I Wish I could do THAT
JP was sitting in my office to discuss some issue related to his training plan. I notice his eyes looking behind me and they seem to be focused in one spot. I turned to look at what had caused him to have the dreamy look and looked into the face of my antelope hanging behind me. I turned to him and he asked what the story was and so I told him, while his gaze went from me to the goat. When I finished he looked at me and simply said, I WISH I COULD DO THAT with a lost feeling emitting from his voice. I looked into his eyes and simply said WHY NOT. He looked at me and frowned and said there’s just no way. His stare was directed more at himself than me because; the only movement in his body is his eyes and lips. You see JP has had MD since the age of 4 and has lived in a hospital or intensive care program for all his adult life. It has ravaged every part of his physical body completely, but his mind. He requires medical support 24 hours per day and lives in the local hospital. I told him that I felt that we could work it out and instructed him on what it would take to get a license and that we only have 5 days till they are do in Cheyenne WY G&F office. I also explained that he would have to apply for a handicap-shooting permit. JP was very unsure and said OK, but he still was wondering how he could go hunting and so was I. We got his application in the mail along with his handicap application. Three days later we received a call from the game and fish stating they would not allow him a permit because of his disability. This lights my fire and I call the G&F director and I ask him why they would turn down this person and he indicates it was a mistake and that it will be taken care of. Now we have to find a gun that can be operated by a puff and blow system. I start calling all over the country and get many helpful ideas and lots of it cannot be done. We finally find a device in Nebraska called an sr77 shooting rest that will hold a gun and can be operated by a joystick. Now we need to find some money for it and a gun that can be adapted to fit it. The local gun club puts up the $850 for the sr77 and a local gunsmith takes a 250-3000 and cuts the stock off to fit the device, at no charge. We have already received permission from a local ranch for access for his antelope hunt. The gun is modified and ready and yet we still have not had delivery of the rest and we are only 2 weeks till the season. JP is getting nervice and is starting to think that this was a bad idea. We finally get delivery 2 days before the season with a supper modified version of what we had hoped for. They could not make a puff and blow work so we ended up with a joystick and bight switch for firing. JP’s body would not stay erect well enough behind the scope so I held him in place while another guy ran the joystick. We went to the range to give it the test the morning of his hunt. It was about 40 degrees and foggy and we had JP rapped from top to bottom. I put up a paper antelope archery target and we got JP lined out, he gave us signals up/down and left/right and when he was lined up I handed him the switch to bight. He had never been close to any gun being fired, and the look on his face was of pure shock. When we looked at the target it was in the heart. He fired 2 more rounds and was ready to go. We were given a van to use by another disabled person and a hospital nurse went along to take care of him. We reached the ranch and met the manager Brad and headed to a part of the ranch that they had reserved for JP. The weather was rainy and overcast, which made it so muddy that it took all three of us to get his wheel chair in position. The wind blew 20+ all morning and we were able only to get within 300 yards. JP did try a shot but the wind made it to hard for him and us to stay still. We checked out several bucks and were just not having any luck. Late in the afternoon the wind died down and the sun started shinning bright, which warmed our bodies and spirits. JP has limited endurance but was hanging in there, when he said a little prayer, just give me one good try and 20 minutes later we spotted a nice buck coming toward us. We get JP in position and the buck stops about 225 yards, and looks straight at us. JP starts giving the commands up/down/left/right and then says give me the switch, this ones going down. He bights the switch and the gun bucks and rocks in its mount and we see the antelope take off at a hard run low to the ground over the hill he was standing on. JP is having trouble getting enough air through his respirator and has to be suctioned before we can get him loaded and head to were the antelope went. He is bighting bullets all this time asking, do you think I got him and did I make a clean kill? We finally came over the hill and laying about 15 yards off the ranch road was JP’s goat, which turned out to be 14.5 inches. We almost needed to put sunglasses on because his smile was beaming so bright. Now we all know of being blooded and eating of the liver of your first kill, well I had a captive killer and I gave him a hard time and blooded his chin with the liver while pictures were being taken. Next we went to the taxidermist who had donated the mount for JP. Today his mount hangs in his hospital room, next to an 8x11 picture of himself taking a bite of the liver. He loves to say that it really grosses people out when they see the picture of him and the blood on his chin. JP success did not stop there though, because he can do more with his voice and a computer than most of us can even dream of. He now has a full time job as a programmer, owns his own van, loves traveling and enjoying life in person. SO IF SOMEONE SAYS I WISH I COULD DO THAT, STOP AND THINK WHY NOT. olefish


New member
Jan 9, 2001
Shoshoni WY
A story of me and DAD--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It was the elk season of 1986 and I needed time to myself and elk hunting always seemed to offer me that chance of solitude. I was in the mountains East of Lovell WY next to the MT border. This was a brand new area to me, and a place I had never roamed. The season would start in 3 days and I was covering as much country as possible on foot. The nights were crisp and the seat of my old Chev truck felt good after the countless miles of scouting. I was pushing myself to hard thinking about dad and him not being around to share my stories with. We never got along until the last few years and you never miss what you have till it’s gone. He hunted and fish lots in his youth and was the best shoot I ever saw. I sat under trees and glassed the hills and valleys and talked to dad about myself, and how his love for my girls let me understand him in a new way. He was not a genital man but he let the girls romp through his newspaper like a puppy chews on its mom’s ears.
We never saw one elk but seemed to clear up lots of problems I was holding in my heart.
I was led to a new spot the day before the season and met a bunch of guys that were setting up camp. They opened their camp to me and said that I should join them. I had been a loner most my hunting life and could not understand why I said ok so easy. The next day I went out with 3 of the guys with the 2 horse they had for riding and packing game. We went in to an area unknown by me and headed toward a basin 5 miles off the road. We had covered about 2 miles when we met a packer with 2 elk and he told us that there was a heard of elk at the head of the basin meadow. We were off like a shot and cover those 3 miles in a matter of minutes. We saw cow elk in several places but just could not grow any bones on them skin headed cows. After looking for about one hour I was in need to strip down and cool out. So me and one of the guys stake out a place under this huge downfall tree over looking the meadow, and the other 2 take the horses about ½ mile across to the other side to watch. My ability to sit still was not any better than my kids, so after 45 minutes I start getting my shirt and coat back on and tell my new bud that I will kick around some and see if I can stir up some action and for him to keep his peepers wide open. I walk around behind the tree and to my surprise there lies a spike elk that had came and fell over dead while we were sitting on the other side. I let out a yell “there’s a bull elk” and he says shoot it, and I say no time. That’s when My dad came out in me cause he was worlds best rascal. I always carried a green river knife with a 12 inch blade on my hip and I whip it out and stab it into the bullet hole were the blood is running out, about the time the guy looks around the tree. You could have driven a truck into the hole his mouth made, and he starts shuddering about you killed it with a knife. I tell him well I just did not have time to use my gun. I had a feeling that this bunch was not your real outdoors types any way and this just proved it to me. Well we get the elk dress and quarter about the time his buddies show back up. They look at the elk and want to know were we got it cause they never heard any shooting from were they were at. Their friend looks them in the eye and says, he killed it with his knife. They all get into an argument about the whole thing, while I just stand back and just smile a little. Well he gets his friends convinced about the GREAT ELK TAKEN WITH A KNIFE STORY; by the time we get back to camp. I believe that is the most I have ever been call sir in my life. I cut the back straps out and roasted them over the fire while sipping on something very smooth and let their minds go wild over a guy they new as ole. I left at dawn the next day leaving them with a memory and me a story.
I learned that hunting alone was not all it was always cracked up to be and that if I was going to share my dads sense of humor and wit I could not do it alone. I still communicate with dad to let him know how the girls and I are doing and to say thanks for the memories. olefish


Grand poopa
Dec 9, 2000
Boise, Idaho
#701 MD4ME and Ivusthuntmore

We scored Deb & I each got a buck this last week on 10/6/00 @ 11.00 am out in
the Owyhees 2 bad forked horns only. Heres the story Fri. 10/5/00 we hiked
into a place we call buck draw, because we have never seen anything but bucks
in it. We hiked our butts off and finally saw one deer coming up the draw
toward us. We then decided to work on down for a closer look, using what ever
cover we could. When we got down to the area were we had last seen the deer
we split up & agreed to meet were the 2 draws came together. About that time
I looked up & saw 2 bucks going across the face of the hill 1 was a legal
buck the other was not I folded out my bipod & tried a shot but missed, damn
my evil hide. About that time I saw Deb & she's pointing to the opposite side
of the hill & here is 4 more bucks one of them is a great big one. We watch
them for a while to see witch way they go, then start up the hill to were I
shot to check for blood & possible tracking. We find nothing. So we hike out
of the draw & start to circle back the same direction we had come before but
about a 1/4 mile south. We stopped for a rest after a while & glassed real
carefully but did not see anything. I thought I would try blowing my deer
call like a fawn in distress. On my second set of calls all of a sudden here
is 4 bucks hauling butt right toward us. Looks like 3 small ones & one bigger
deer 3 go over the top one goes near the top, after separating from the other
3. He is quite a distance from us so we could not tell how big he was. He is
looking right at us & we have no cover so we walk out in the open in a
direction like we are leaving the area till we get to some cover, then circle
back on him & it works perfect he finally beds down in the shade of a large
bitter brush. Then starts the long belly craw. I fold out the bipod again the
deer is about 150 yards away but in the shade I can't tell if he is a 2 by
three or a three by three. We watch him for about 30 min, then I tell Deb to
stand up & walk to see if we can get him to stand up, he finally does & guess
what a 3 by 3 & we have to let him go. We then head back toward the truck get
to the thick cover at the top of the ridge & hunt back again toward the area
we had just come from. When we got to the end of the thick stuff we started
glassing again after about 2 min. s I spotted another buck about 3 quarters
of a mile away then 2 more with him. So again starts the stalk. We worked up
to about 4 hundred yards leapfrogging as we went then ran out of cover of any
then to hands & knees then to the belly craw. We got to about 2 hundred yards
& stopped there, no problem seeing that this deer was a nice 4 by 4 but could
not see the other 2 deer. So we watched the bedded 4 point for 1 hour & 15
minutes waiting for the sun to make them stand & move back into the shade.
When it finally happened all 3 bucks were to big, Bummer dude. Next day we
hunted a different area & saw 9 does but no bucks so after 4 hours of side
hilling & glassing rim rock we cut across the top of the mesa we were on &
hunted an another draw back toward camp. I told Debbie I had seen some deer
coming out of this draw further down during archery season. When we had
gotten part way down I could see there was not much cover. So we stared going
real slow just a few steps at a time a glassing the sage carefully. And that
paid off because I spotted a doe about 50 yards away. Then Debbie spotted a
small buck bedded, But could not get a clear shot. I moved about 3 feet to my
left & could see his head & neck about 75 yards away, I squeezed the trigger
& down goes the buck. Then 3 does jump up and run about 20 yards then stop
and start looking around like what was that. Then I see 2 more bucks stand
up. I tell Deb I hope one of those isn't the one I just shot & she sez she
saw mine go down. These 2 bucks just start eating like nothing is happening.
Debbie waits until she a good clear shot then fires at about 70 yards & gets
a good hit but the deer all start to go so I tell her to hit it again 2nd
shot the deer is down for the count. A couple of High 5s and thank you Lord.
We go back up the hill to find mine in the thick sage, we are talking out
loud & looking when I can see a deer down in the brush about 20 feet away. I
tell Deb who is even closer then I. And she sez its a doe, about that time
this doe jumps up & runs off. She was laying right next to the buck I had
shot I have never seen that happen be fore. Anyway 5 hours later we are all
done with the cleaning & packing, and are sitting back in camp having our
traditional victory breakfast of bacon & eggs.


New member
Jan 31, 2001
medina, new york

As she walks over to the bed, her long red hair pulled over to one shoulder. Looking at me with her blue eyes she begins to untie the knot in front of her robe. It falls to the floor and she comes over to the bed and....


Damn alarm, depression has now set in, but wait, it's opening day.

I stumble down stairs and hit the coffee pot button, and then hit the john. It's time to get my gear together and load up the truck.
I have an hour and a half ride to my hill where I will be meeting my hunting buddy for opening day of shotgun season. On the ride down, many thoughts go through my mind. have I got everything, all my gear, my tags my lunch. And oh yea, my gun. Givin the chance what will it take to pull the trigger today, do I hold out or not. It's only opening day.
I think of how many times I have made this ride, met my buddy and enjoyed success.

As I drive to the parking area I see his truck there, he just arrived. As we get dressed out of our plastic garbage bags, they work great for scent free. We engage in conversation. What we saw on the ride down, how many people will be here to hunt our hill and what time for lunch. We check radios and start up the hill.

At a laneway we offer our good lucks and head to our stands. I make it to my stand at 6:00 am, an hour before legal shooting light. The fresh tracks in the snow around my stand get me exited with anticipation of what could happen today.

As I sit in my stand I load my gun and hang it on the hook. Watching my watch, 6:20, 6:30...BANG.... I about fell out of my stand, you could only see 30 yards and not good at that. I turned on the radio and happened to hear the guy who shot talking, his brother yelled at him and then I said "A little early isn't it" That was the last I heard him on the radio.

6:45, Getting close, wait I see legs walking through the trees. Closer and closer. And then I see the orange, Thank god it wasn't a deer cause it is still to early.

6:55, Close enough. I stand up and get my gun. Look over my shoulder and I see a deer stop and look at me off maybe 100 yards. He heard me. I grunt 2 times and he continues to walk into me.As he is walking into me I can see that he is one I will shoot, best buck I have seen on the hill ever. I get my gun ready and as he turns broadside at 50 yards I let him have it. He runs and I shoot again, he goes down. Man, 7:05 as I look at my watch. I look back at him and he struggles to his feet, I shoot again and miss, I shoot again and hit him. He is down.
With one shell left in the gun he stands back up, this time he leans against a tree facing me, I shoot again and he runs down hill and falls to his finale resting place.

Man, am I stressed now. I look at my watch and it is now 7:15. I gather up my gear and climb down the tree. As I walk up to him I can't believe the deer that I was lucky enough to get. A beautiful 10 point. I radio my buddy after I gut him out to bring me a pen, I forgot mine. I tell him I cracked and shot a nice 6 point. He walks over to me and the look on his face was great. You see, on our first day of bowhunting that hill he took a 11 point not 200 yards from where I got the 10 point. This was our best year.

We just took those deer to get scored, his 11 point scored 129 p&y, and mine scored 135. What a day, what a year.


[This message has been edited by elkfarmer (edited 02-20-2001).]

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