• TOO July Buck of the Month: Buckmaster and the Buttercup Buck

    This month we feature a buck with a story that will warm the heart of hunters and non-hunters alike. Buckmaster (Ben) is a member of the TOO brotherhood who owns a great piece of hunting ground he calls home when he's not caught in the daily grind. Ben has been kind enough to share his ground with several other outdoorsmen and women over the years, and this story would not have come about without his generosity. The following is the story of young Nick and his first buck, a deer affectionately named "The Buttercup Buck" in honor of his mother's unknowingly appointed moniker for Nick!!! I'd also like to thank Ben for sharing this story with us, and for helping to pass on the great tradition of deer hunting. Well done sir!!!

    The Buttercup Buck
    Account by: Ben Fashing aka. Buckmaster

    During the summer of 2010 I had the opportunity to meet Jim and his step son Nick. Jim is in his mid 40’s and Nick is 10 years old. I learned through discussions with Jim that Jim enjoys deer hunting on occasion, mainly shotgun hunting. I also discovered that Jim was an intermediate skilled hunter with some past successes. Nick was a 10 year old newbie filled with lots of excitement and ambition. Nick wanted to try deer hunting so I helped Jim secure and purchase a used Horton crossbow for Nick. Nick was to practice with his crossbow throughout the 2010 summer supervised and coached by Jim. Nick got to the point where he could shoot softball sized groups at 25 yards with his Horton crossbow. This allowed such comfort levels with Jim that he could offer Nick some parental supervised hunts. We agreed to take Nick on a couple guided bow hunts at my camp in southeast Ohio during the 2010 season. Nick saw deer on every hunt during his 2010 season. The season ended for Nick with a couple of misses and one lost blood trail. Nick soon found out that deer hunting is a lot different than just shooting stationary targets. The fire was lit inside young Nick as he anxiously awaits the next hunting season to arrive. He spent his 2010 winter staying busy playing basketball and the following 2011 spring and summer playing baseball. The 2011 bow season had arrived. Nick was finishing up his soccer season during the early fall which did not permit Nick any early season hunting time.

    Today is November 12, 2011. I am hunting for 4 days at my camp, Piney Fork Hollow, with my father and a couple of friends. We have two youth hunters in camp this week with Nick (now 11) being one of them. Things are still relatively slow in the deer woods in terms of rut activity. I did see a couple small bucks chasing does but no mature bucks of any size have made their appearance yet. I believe the mature bucks are still nocturnal.

    Here is Nick in the elevated box blind overlooking one of our food plots. Jim is supervising Nick in the box blind.

    Within the first hour of this afternoon hunt this 4 pointer approaches. Nick tries to wait with patience but finally sends the arrow over the 4 pointers back. I think he yanked the trigger over squeezing off a good shot.

    After a flurry of excitement Nick settles back down, regains his composure, and continues his hunting quest. One hour later a bigger deer makes his appearance. It’s an 8 pointer. The 8 point buck steps in the very same spot the 4 point did. Nick is prepared this time on his second attempt of the afternoon. He already has his crossbow up and across the top of the header board of the box blind. He’s prepared to take the shot. Seconds later, “Whack!” The deer darts into the brush following a broad side shot. The deer’s tail dances throughout the woods with white flashes for 80 yards then disappears. Jim and Nick let the woods settle down for a few minutes then decide to descend down from the box blind. They initially look at the impact sight and see nothing. A few steps later reveal the first sign of blood. With daylight dwindling fast and unsure of the circumstances Jim and Nick back out of the situation and come back to camp for additional help.

    Upon gaining some additional help, a couple of spot lights, two four wheelers, and small trailer the reconnaissance team was dispatched to find Nick’s buck. Forty five minutes later the recon team rumbles back to camp with a double lung shot 8 point buck. Here is Nick with his first deer.

    Celebration at our camp begins amongst our camp youth and elders. We helped Jim field dress the buck as Nick watches. We clean, ice down, and hang the buck in our trophy hanging tree. We all settle around the campfire for shared stories, camp fire chat, and some beverages. Jim had Nick call Nick’s mother at home to explain Nick’s deer story and today’s unfolding events. Nick’s mother exclaims over the speaker phone, “That’s wonderful Buttercup. That sounds like a nice deer and a wonderful evening.” Since that overheard phone conversation between Nick and his mother; Nick’s buck has forever been deemed in accordance to camp legend the “Buttercup Buck” and Nick has been tagged “Buttercup” himself.

    Following our morning hunt the next day “Buttercup” and I visit the scene to see if we can locate his missing arrow.

    Here is “Buttercup” seeking his arrow.

    “Buttercup” following the blood trail.

    A few moments later “Buttercup” finds his arrow along the blood trail.

    “Buttercup” and his first deer; an 8 point buck.

    Nick is already anticipating the 2012 hunting season. He has hunted with me for 2 years now. He admits he gets buck fever. I asked him what buck fever feels like and he responds, "I got all nervous and my stomach felt like it was in my throat."

    I also asked Nick why he likes to hunt. He replies, "Because I love the outdoors, I like animals, and most importantly my step-dad Jim likes to hunt and I wanted something to do to share my time with him."
    Nick will soon be in the 7th grade and his current chosen career path objective is to become a wildlife officer.

    In the two years of deer hunting Nick has not experienced a hunt that he had not encountered a deer.

    Nick recently proclaims that will be giving up his 2012 soccer season to ease his sports commitments and allow him more hunting time.

    “Buttercup” Nick with his buck.

    The Buttercup Buck