I came across perhaps the most amazing deer story I have ever heard. It’s from Rodney Ries, whom I have known for more than 20 years. An avid deer hunter, he has taken both of his sons out over the years to introduce them to his fall passion.
He sent me a text message with a picture of his son, Marcus, with a nice buck that he got on one of the Ries family farms near Red Wing. Here’s the amazing part: Marcus is 11 years old, and he shot an 11-point buck on 11-11-11 (Friday). So, this hunt was all 11s.
This story began earlier in the fall when Rod observed some big bucks on his trail cameras. The buck Marcus ended up shooting was one on the nicest ones, and eventually Rod focused his attention on this one.
Trouble was, throughout the fall, all of the pictures he got of this deer were taken at night. It’s not unusual for big bucks to move exclusively after dark. But, Rod was hoping that when the rut kicked in, this bruiser would start cruising for does during daylight hours.
That’s exactly what happened early last week when he checked his trail cameras once again. Actually, the buck passed by the camera near his stand twice during legal shooting hours, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. But, no one was in the stand either time.
Rod felt almost sick about missing these two chances, then vowed to spend some time in the stand with Marcus. Friday evening was a perfect afternoon for hunting. Soon after climbing into the stand, they started seeing deer. He almost told Marcus to shoot at a small doe, but decided to hold off and see if the big buck would show. They had plenty of shooting time left, so they were confident Marcus would get a shot at a deer that evening.
Sure enough, the big guy showed up and Marcus took a perfect broadside shot at about 60 yards. Rod has trained him well. I have a feeling this young hunter is going to shoot plenty more bucks like this in his lifetime.
So, to Marcus and his proud father, I simply say: Congratulations!