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Three Generation Buck

By December 21st, 2023No Comments

By Christopher Stanley

The day started like any other Saturday on the second weekend of the Texas deer season, at my son Weston’s 4U soccer game. Due to the heavy rains we had in the fall, the soccer season was pushed backed into the November rifle season. Nonetheless, my dad and I enjoyed the game that chilly morning, not sure who won the epic soccer battle.

As soon as the game was over and the treats were dished out, Weston and I headed home to pack the truck to go to the lease. We got to the lease a little after noon, got the four-wheelers out, started a fire, and got dressed for the deer stand. For this particular hunt I decided to take Weston to a stand called “4 Corners.” 4 Corners is a tree stand that sits on top of a hill, has a great vantage point, and a lot of space to cover. With a light wind out of the north and the temperatures in the 60s, I thought it would be the best stand for the afternoon hunt.

It was the first year I took Weston hunting. He loves looking at my old deer heads and hearing stories about hunting in the stand, so I knew it was the year to bring him hunting. He had been to the lease before to help us fill the feeders and do lease work, but not hunting. Weston loves to be outside and has a ton of fun at the lease, but the shock of trying to sit still and being quiet while looking for deer was hard for him to grasp.

Weston’s idea of hunting was coming up to the lease riding around and playing with his cousins at camp. He wasn’t a fan of the actual hunting that’s required to hopefully shoot a big buck. Books, cars, and a lot of old hunting stories were needed to keep him busy and entertained in the deer stand.

Weston was actually doing pretty good for the first hour playing semi quietly with his toy car, but then his patience ran out. It then turned into, as all parents can attest to, a 3-year-old’s meltdown. He was upset, he was crying, and in the last place Weston wanted to be—that deer stand.

I called Dad who was hunting in a tree stand not too far away. I told him I might have to head back to camp because of Weston’s tantrum. Shortly after I got off the phone, Weston regained his composure and calmed down. The next thing that happened was part of God’s plan to make this hunt so special for me, my dad, and my son.

I heard the rumble of my father’s four-wheeler and assumed he was heading back to camp to help me with Weston. As the four-wheeler grew closer, it eventually stopped and then Dad walked to our stand, not seeing us until he was a couple yards away. Now the reason Dad did this is because 4 Corners is his favorite stand on the lease. So he figured if we were back at camp he would jump in and try his luck.

My father said, “Oh? I thought you were going back to camp.” I then told him the whole story and how Weston calmed down and was ready to hunt again. He said, “I’ll go back to the other tree stand,” but that’s when Weston piped up and said he wanted Pops to stay and hunt with us. So, there we were, Weston, his Pops, and me all situated in the blind and finally looking for some deer and enjoying a perfect moment together doing what we all love.

As the sun fell, we were down to the last 30 minutes of hunting with no signs of movement. Weston started to get a little antsy again, so I showed him some pictures on my phone to past the time until we got down. As I scrolled through the pictures, Dad whispered, “Chris, there’s a big buck. Get your rifle up.” As I shouldered my DPMS Gen 2 Recon rifle, I told Dad to cover Weston’s ears. BANG!!!

The 165-grain Federal Fusion MSR sent the thick buck’s body into the cedars. Feeling confident in my shot, we waited until dark to get down. I knew I had placed a perfect shot. We got on the four-wheelers and then on foot and found the blood trail, trying to teach Weston how we follow the blood trail to find the deer.

About 50 yards into the tree line, we found him under a cedar tree. The shot happened very quickly. Dad and I did not realize how big bodied and thick antlered this buck was. Weston was ecstatic.

I was elated to show him why we stay quiet, still, and hunt hard in order to get a big-time buck. The buck was so big, Dad and I had a hard time getting the buck onto the back of the four-wheeler. Overall, he was the biggest and most heavily antlered buck I have ever taken on our lease. The big 10-point buck had dark antlers and put a lot of venison in the freezer, mostly summer sausage and jerky.

The buck was very nice, but I think Dad and I will always cherish the memory of getting to hunt together with three generations of Stanleys: grandpa – father – and son. I will never forget the excitement Weston had seeing his first big buck and being in the deer stand with his dad and his Pops. My big buck will always hold a special memory as one of my greatest hunts. I hope one day I will be helping my son deal with his son’s tantrum in the deer stand and teaching him the important values we gain from hunting.