Jonathan Boone’s opening morning luck went from poor to sublime in mere seconds, like someone threw a switch, which in deer hunting is often a good thing.
It’s how the young hunter was able to take his biggest buck to date, a heavy-headed 12-point that pushes 150 inches.
“It happened so fast, too fast for me to get nervous about taking the shot,” said Boone, 16, of Gluckstadt, a 10th-grader at Germantown High School. “I got more nervous after I found the buck and saw just how big he was. Dad was there by then and I was freaking out.
“We were fist-bumping and high-fiving all over the place. It was so exciting.”
The morning didn’t start that way at the family’s deer camp in Humphreys County.
“It was not a great day for the (gun) season to start, you know, it was really warm,” said Boone, who pitches and plays outfield in baseball and is a wide receiver for Germantown. “It was warm when I walked in to the stand before daylight and was just going to get hotter. I wasn’t feeling too good about it.”
Things quickly went from bad to worse, at least in the hunter’s mind.
“I was walking to my stand in the dark on this road and I ran into a doe,” Boone said. “I couldn’t really see her in the dark, but I heard her blow at me and I saw her white tail running through the trees. She was blowing at me, and I thought, ‘oh well, that’s just great.’
“I didn’t think I’d see anything after she blew at me. I figured she had warned all the deer around.”
But Boone was committed to his stand, which was an elevated shooting house overlooking a big football field-sized food plot. Along the side of it was a little road.
“The only good thing I had going for me was that the wind was perfect for that stand,” he said. “The wind was blowing hard out of the south and I was at the north end. Couldn’t have been better.”
Yet, that’s not what changed the mood of the day. No that happened when Boone saw movement in that road, along the field, about 110 yards away.
“I grabbed my binoculars and immediately saw that it was a shooter buck walking away from me on that road,” he said. “I grabbed my rifle and found it in the scope right as it was at the edge of some brush, about to step into it. I had to stop it.
“I whistled at him and, right before he would have disappeared in the brush, he stopped and turned broadside. I took one last look, and squeezed the trigger.”
The .30-06 did the trick, sending a bullet right through the chest of the massive, 250-pound buck.
“I didn’t see it react,” Boone said. “As a matter of fact, when I looked, he wasn’t even there. He was gone.”
The youngster decided to wait and give it some time, “just in case I had made a bad shot.”
An hour passed, and Boone climbed out and went to look for blood. He found plenty of it, right where the buck had been standing, and quickly picked up the trail.
“It was pumping blood all the way, an easy trail, but I didn’t need much,” he said. “I walked about 10 yards along the blood trail and I could see his big belly in the grass, about 40 yards away. He was huge, a moose. His antlers were even bigger than I thought. He had ground growth.
“By then, Dad was there.”
And the celebration began.
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