Drop Tine Buck
By Andrew Peterson

I entered the 2003 hunting season with much anticipation. In 2002 I did not harvest a deer or an elk. I passed on a few small spikes but I just did not see many bucks. It looked as if the 2003 season might come to the same fate and I was losing hope. It came down to the last day of extended buck, the last chance to harvest a deer for the 2003 season. I was considering going after one of the many small bucks that I saw this season and was looking for some meat to put in the freezer. My hunting partner called me and asked me what my plans were. He mentioned that his father in law has many motion camera's and just captured two nice trophy bucks in his camera's 3 days ago. The morning of the last day of the season we went to his father-in-laws and saw the pictures of these bucks and they were truly trophy bucks. We found ourselves in the timber by about 9:00. It was the rainiest day of the season. We were wet before we really started to hunt.

Andrew took this drop tined buck in the thick timber.

We reached a unit of small alder trees about 15 years old. He said well here we are. We made a game plan to split up and hunt the unit to hopefully push something into each other. I was still hunting, moving very slowly through the unit. I was in the thick cover for about 25 minutes when I saw a doe. The bucks were in the rut pretty hard so I was anticipating seeing a buck with her. She stood there looking at me for what felt like a minute but was probably 5 seconds when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. When I turned I saw the buck. "The drop tine buck" I remember saying to myself. From there I went into auto pilot. I don't remember raising my gun, taking of the safety, or even hearing the shot. The next thing I know the buck fell in his tracks, didn't even take a step. I stood there watching it for a few minutes and the only thing I could think about was my dad, who died of cancer earlier in the summer. I felt that he was on that hunt with me even though we never hunted together.

The buck was also captured on a trail-cam earlier in the year.

My radio buzzed and my hunting partner said, "Andrew was that you." I said "you wont believe this but I shot the drop tine buck." Long story short he did not believe me until he approached me and the deer and saw it for himself. We sat there looking in disbelief for a few moments and exchanged high fives, then began to go to work. I grabbed the bucks hind legs to move him into better position to get ready to gut him out and my buddy said "hold it, he fell down on a shed horn", but not any shed horn. As it turns out he fell on his own shed from the year before. His life ended on the very spot that he dropped his shed. My buddy and I still get goose bumps when we talk about it. 3 hours later we had him in the truck. I can now say that I have had the opportunity to go hunting with my dad because I know that he was at my side guiding me the whole way. I miss you dad.

Andrew compares last years shed to the bucks most recent rack.