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Horse Without a Rider

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December 7th, 1987 my son Mike and I were hunting in SE Kansas near Longton on a 1,200 acre farm.  We decided to set up on the edge of a large winter wheat field and see what happend.  While we were sitting there we heard a shot to the north of us.  A couple of miinutes later a saddled horse came loping by without any rider.  We thought we better check and make sure whoever was with the horse was OK and started walking north.  After about 5 minutes we found the farmer’s son walking in our direction.  He said he had seen a nice buck and climbed off of the horse to take a shot.  When he fired the horse bolted & left him on foot.  As we visited he said that he knew where another nice buck had been bedding down in a gully and that if we would walk to the top of the gully he would go get his horse, ride through the gully and drive the buck toward us.

About 15 minutes later we were in position when he came riding toward the gully.  It wasn’t long before the buck appeared in front of me, not more than 25 feet away.  I was carrying a 30-30 with a side mounted scope.  When I tried to find the buck in the scope all I could find was tree branches.  After what seemed like an eternity, I got him in the crosshairs & pulled the trigger.  I knew I hit him but when I worked the lever to chamber another round the empty shell casing lodged against the scope mounting creating a jam.  I was shaking the rifle upside down trying to dislodge the empty shell when the buck finally fell only a few feet from where I shot him.

The farmers son rode up and tied a lariat around the deer’s antlers and drug him out of the woods to our truck.  As we were field dressing the deer my son said, “Man, dad, I never saw you shake like that before.”  Ah, yes, buck fever!

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