Hunting Memories

Trophy-Size X-12 Buck!

My name is Donovan Smith, and I'm 14 years old. This year my stepdad and I got drawn for the California X-12 zone. We scouted the area a couple months before season to get an idea of where we were going to hunt. Two weeks before season we entered the annual big buck contest at Ken's Sporting Goods.
After months of waiting, the season finally arrived. We hunted opening morning and saw three bucks. Out of the three, my stepdad saw a nice 24-inch 3x3.

He raised his rifle, took two shots and down the buck went. It was a long drag for us. It took three hours to get it back to the truck. Once we made it back, we went to Ken's to weigh it in. The buck had a nice rack but only weighed 110 pounds. They took a picture of my stepdad with his buck and put it with the other photos there. Only three bucks were taken that day. We were very tired and decided to road hunt later that evening.

Next morning we tried to fill my tag. We hunted for three hours and didn't see anything, so decided to return to the truck. After walking a mile my stepdad noticed a doe under a tree. We were staring at it for 30 seconds when it noticed us. The doe walked uphill and a big buck followed. My stepdad shouted, "Big buck! Big buck! Get ready! Get ready!"

The deer was 365 yards away. I pulled out my shooting sticks and took aim. The buck went behind a tree, then reappeared.

Boom! One shot with the .30-06 broke his back, and he was down. After giving each other high-fives we went to see him. It was a 26 1/2-inch 4x4 with serious antler mass. We dragged him for four hours and then went to Ken's.

Everyone was congratulating me on my deer. At the end of the season my deer had the nicest rack. He weighed 145 pounds hanging on the hook. This was my first deer. If you ever go to Ken's, look at my picture.

Submitted by Donovan Smith
Ventura, California

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