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Old 01-18-2017, 03:08 PM
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Josh C Josh C is offline
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Default Daughters first buck!!

This story is a little long and was written by my brother in law about my hunt with my daughter. I can attest, all facts are true! Enjoy the story.

It?s happened to all of us?..
The late afternoon drive back to deer camp would prove to be a long one for Josh. I received a text about an hour after dark on the muggy afternoon of January 14th.
?East and West is still alive,? the text read. The message was immediately followed up by a phone call. We have all received ?that phone call? at some point in our hunting careers.
The phone call with words that are hard to hear and even harder to say. ?I think I missed him.?
Yes, ?him.?
We all have that ?him? on the property we hunt. That once in a lifetime buck that captivates the thoughts and dreams of every serious deer hunter. It?s the deer you think about while planting food plots, putting up new stands and formulating strategies at camp.
It?s the one everyone hopes to have an encounter with during the season. The deer simply known to all as ?him.?
This is the story of East and West, a wide, heavy horned 8 point living on our family property in Avoyelles parish. We named him East and West because of his massive inside spread, which we estimated to span close to 20 inches. Our ?him? was a true giant of an 8 pointer, and he was the one we were all chasing. We were all after ?him.?
It was mid-January and the rut was in full swing. The full moon had the mature bucks on their feet in daylight hours chasing does. That magical time of year had arrived.
Josh, and his 13 year old daughter Laelah, were spending the unseasonably warm afternoon in a box stand overlooking two shooting lanes in a large CRP field. Laelah was already an accomplished hunter with several deer under her belt, and she was eagerly looking to connect with her first mature buck.
?It could happen at any moment this time of year,? Josh told Laelah.
Josh was right. That moment would come that afternoon.
With only a few minutes of shooting light left in their hunt, the two spotted a big deer cautiously stepping out into the shooting lane following a doe. Looking through his binoculars, Josh whispered to Laelah, ?It?s him.? They immediately knew which deer it was. East and West gave the two hunters their first encounter. The big buck was standing in the shooting lane 200 yards from the stand. With the light quickly fading, Laelah moved into position for the shot.
With only seconds of daylight remaining, Laelah wisely told her dad she didn?t feel comfortable taking the long shot and pulled in her .243 from the shooting window. Realizing this could be their now or never moment, Josh picked up his .308, put the crosshairs on the big deer and squeezed the trigger.
?Did you get him dad?? ?Did you get him??
It was then that the post-shot adrenaline began to surge. The father and daughter team had their encounter with East and West.
Then it happened?.
Surprisingly, Josh noticed that the big deer was still standing in the shooting lane with his attention focused on the doe. He quickly cycled another round in his .308, placed the crosshairs on the deer?s front shoulder and watched him slowly walk back into the thick CRP field, out of sight.
The minutes seemed like hours as they gave the deer time before getting down from the stand to survey the impact area, looking for evidence of a hit. With flashlights in hand, the two began their search in the dark.
After an hour of searching, Josh decided to climb back into the stand and replay the shot from where he was sitting. Josh had Laelah positioned in the shooters chair and he was sitting beside her in a folding chair to help coach her through any shot opportunities.
In going through the replay, he noticed a small limb hanging in-between him and the buck. ?I think I might have hit that limb, Josh told Laelah. That limb is right between me and where he was standing.?
The two walked back to the shooting lane continuing their search and to their surprise, the big buck was aggressively running the doe and grunting with every step in the thick CRP grass patch. They listened to him grunting and chasing the doe for several minutes.
Josh was almost certain his bullet deflected off the limb.
?Yes, I?m sure I missed him. I didn?t notice the small limb between me and the buck as it was so close to dark.? We also heard him chasing the doe around in the CRP when we were looking for him. I?m certain that limb got in the way of the shot.?
The story was harder to hear every time.
It?s happened to all of us?..
The next day was Jan 15th, a Sunday. Our families attended our church?s morning service and we told many of our hunting friends the story of the encounter with East and West.
Afterwards, we decided to head back out to the property to see if we just might get another chance with East and West.
January 15th was another hot and muggy afternoon. The afternoon temps were in the mid-70s and deer movement was minimal. After several hours had passed of watching empty shooting lanes and studying pictures of deer shot placement with Laelah, East and West gave them their second encounter and stepped out at a mere 75 yards. They couldn?t believe it. There he was, all by himself.
?Laelah, here?s our chance my girl, you can do this, you can make this shot.? Josh quickly and quietly positioned his .308 out of the shooting window and handed the rifle to Laelah. He knew she could do this.
Years of daddy daughter target practicing and hours of time together in the stand had come down to this moment.
?Take your time, you know what to do,? Josh said. She did know. Laelah?s shot was perfect.
I received another text from Josh that afternoon. ?East and West is dead, Laelah got him.?
The celebration began.
Taking pictures of a dad and his daughter behind a buck of a lifetime was something I will never forget. They didn?t just have a trophy, they had a memory. A memory that will last. A memory that will count.
East and West?s story didn?t end there. After loading the bruiser onto the 4-wheeler, we noticed a small wound underneath the deer?s brisket. It was a fresh wound. Amazingly, Josh?s shot had barely grazed the deer from the night before. East and West had survived the night to become an even better trophy for Josh. A trophy for his young daughter. Laelah?s trophy.

For me, East and West?s story is a reminder of Jesus? redemption for us and how all things work together for the good. In 24 hours? time, the deer that caused Josh great sorrow became an even greater joy.
What about you? Have you experienced any tough nights in your life? Nights of reliving missed opportunities? Nights of feeling like you?ve missed the target?
It?s happened to all of us?..
Jesus died on a cross to offer redemption to all who have fallen short and missed the mark. He did so to give you and I another chance. To give us another opportunity to turn and chase after ?Him.?
It?s a reminder that Jesus Christ is our ultimate trophy and our Great Reward.
If you have experienced sorrow for a night, perhaps this deer story can serve as a simple reminder that His joy comes in the morning. He can turn things around for you in your life, even when opportunity seems lost or obstructions get in the way.
He loves you and His arms are spread wide open for you right now, even as you read this? far as the East is from the West!
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:12 PM
Feesherman Feesherman is online now
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I just can't read that. The pic of the buck is a nice though. Congrats
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Old 01-18-2017, 03:48 PM
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That is a story. No time to read it now but I will. Story or not that is a dang fine buck. I know she is happy and I know you are too. Congrats to her. That is a beautiful deer
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:03 PM
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Great story Jason, and a great message. You guys will have many good stories to come hunting with your kids and family out there. Josh is still walking on "Cloud Nine"!
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:06 PM
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Josh C Josh C is offline
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Sorry for all the question marks! It was copied and pasted from Word. I can't figure out how to edit them.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:52 PM
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I wondered about that. Still an awesome story and deer. Congrats to all!
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Old 01-18-2017, 10:15 PM
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meaux fishing meaux fishing is offline
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Great story and a great deer. You score him?
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:08 AM
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Josh C Josh C is offline
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Originally Posted by meaux fishing View Post
Great story and a great deer. You score him?

133 6/8"

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old 01-21-2017, 10:56 AM
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Great deer and story.

They grow up too fast
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Old 01-21-2017, 11:33 AM
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marshrunner757 marshrunner757 is offline
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Heck of a story! Happy for both of you.

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