Duane Puckett, Retired IAFF Local 157 member
Congratulations to Duane Puckett on being drawn as the lucky winner in the USA member story contest, which ran from July through Labor Day 2009. Duane will receive a brand-new Beretta 3901 American Citizen shotgun, compliments of the USA and Beretta-USA. Thank you to everyone who submitted an outdoor story. We look forward to including them in the USA newspaper and e-newsletter and on the website.
The farm where I live belongs to my father-in-law, and he is more pro-Bambi than pro-hunter. But that changed when an injured buck was seen on our 50 acre farm, which is surrounded by a creek and tree lines that funnel plenty of deer. I gained permission to sit for this particular deer, which I gladly did.
At first, I tried from a treestand but was immediately busted, since I put it up so close to gun week. So I wound up on the ground in an old 10×12 building with a roof and sides that went up halfway up. I netted the opening in camouflage, got out my most comfortable lawn chair, and was ready to go the first day of gun.
I live in Ohio, and last December was pretty cold with light snow on the ground. On the second morning, I was in my blind by sun-up thinking I had rid myself of the coffee I drank at 5 a.m. that morning, but alas, I had to go. I leaned my trusty 870 against the wall and began the chore of digging through all my clothing to free myself to perform the task at hand. Just when everything was out and nearly flowing, I caught movement out of the corner of my eye-a nice 7-point loping along. I was caught with my pants down, almost literally, but I dropped my bottle, picked up my gun, took aim and let go with a miss. My first thought was “damn, I just blew my chance at my first buck.”
I picked my bottle up, finished my business and got settled again, disappointed to say the least. But to my surprise, about 15 minutes later, I saw something about 150 yards out coming in my direction. I looked in my binoculars to see it was the same buck I missed earlier. I raised my gun to its rest, took aim, and as soon as he turned broadside, I shot. He immediately flipped on his back, and I had my first buck. I chuckle to this day when I think of how it all played out.