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  • My wife Rhonda has been very, very blessed when it comes to deer hunting...but she's been totally 'snake-bit' as far as turkey hunting is concerned. That's fair enough I guess...it sort of balances out.

    Actually though, Rhonda's turkey hunting 'career' started off with a BANG. She bagged a nice jake the very first time I took her out turkey hunting 13 years ago. It took less than an hour, in fact. 'Turkey hunting is pretty easy', Rhonda thought. Over the next 13 years, she would find that not to be the case at all.

    Since that first success, we've tried year after year to get her a shot at an adult gobbler, and have had many, many encounters during that time...but never had a shot opportunity presented itself. Too far...too thick...too skittish...walking too fast...etc., etc., etc. We've managed to come up short, time and time again.

    Saturday April 9th, on opening morning, the gobbler we were working almost managed to keep Rhonda's bad luck streak alive. Initially though, he seemed to have read the script. We had him coming straight in to our set-up, but just as he got in range, he veered off course and began skirting us to our left at a slow but steady pace. Rhonda was following him with the sights on the Remington 1100 20 gauge, but the bird would not stop walking no matter what I tried. Finally, as the gobbler was just about to reach a point beyond which no shot opportunity would be possible, Rhonda tripped the trigger, sending a load of Federal Heavyweight #7s in the direction of his head and neck. Her shot was true, and the big tom folded in his tracks at a distance of 33 yards, ending our 13-year quest.

    To say we were both totally ecstatic would be a gross understatement! It's so true that the harder you have to work for something, the more you appreciate it. I knew that when Rhonda's day came, it would be special...and it lived up to my expectations.

    Rhonda's bad-luck-streak-ending gobbler was a nice one. He weighed 19 pounds, had spurs a tad over an inch long, and sported a 12-inch beard. After all the celebrating was over, we took the gobbler straight over to my taxidermist and good buddy Craig Hall. Taxidermy is all about preserving precious memories, and Rhonda and I intend to relive this one over and over for many years to come.

    As a post-script, on the subject of precious memories, the close-up picture of Rhonda's gobbler with my special glass call could be a story in itself. My now-good-friend Jason Terry and his partner Troy Blalock, of Tobacco Row Custom Calls, made this beautiful glass call for me to commemorate my Dad with his last gobbler before passing a couple years ago. This is my first year using the call, and I have found it to be a really neat way to sort of take my Dad along with me, as I continue the turkey hunting tradition.

    April 11, 2016 at 10:35am

    Everything came together for me the afternoon of November 25th and I managed to bring down the big 10 pointer our group has been after all season. All the guys (and gals) were just as happy as I was which made it even more special. The buck weighed 165# and gross scored 145-1/2.

    November 25, 2014 at 11:57pm

    My wife and I went out for a quick hunt this morning dressed for church under our camo, and this big 9 pointer came through dogging a doe at about 7:25. I had to 'nay' at him to stop him and when I did Rhonda put the arrow right on the button. The brute weighed 170 pounds and gross measured 140 inches. Rhonda was pretty thrilled, as is obvious by the big smile on her face.

    October 26, 2014 at 7:27pm

    Monday, November 11th, Tammy Tatum of Prospect Hill got this beautiful, heavy-beamed 10-point buck with a .50 caliber muzzleloader. This was Tammy's biggest buck to-date...and her first in over 10 years. That long drought wasn't for a lack of trying though. Tammy had experienced one stroke of bad luck after another in her 10-year quest for the buck of her dreams...but this time, luck was on her side for a change. When asked if she was glad to have the monkey off her back, Tammy said....that was no monkey....that was a GORILLA!! Congratulations Tammy!!

    November 13, 2013 at 10:51am

    Already on our 8th hunt for this buck just 9 days into the 2013 archery season, Sunday morning September 15th my wife Rhonda made a great 23-yard shot on this big, gnarly Orange County 13-point buck, fulfilling what she and I believe should be every girl's dream....bringing home a big ol', gnarly, 140-inch chocolate-horned bruiser with character to spare! This gorgeous buck had an 11-point mainframe with a split G-2 on his left side and a nice sticker on his right G-2, giving him a total of 13 points. (Which by the way is now Rhonda's new lucky number!) With all the points, stickers, and bladed 5 1/2-inch brow tines to boot, this buck had everything a woman could ask for in a buck. After drooling over quite a few trail cam pictures of this deer for weeks, Rhonda and I both spent several restless nights dreaming of him and wondering if our paths would ever cross. Needless to say, we both felt truly blessed Sunday morning when it all came together.

    September 16, 2013 at 9:57am

    My wife Rhonda got this nice velvet 8 pointer with her crossbow the morning of September 9, 2012. We were in the blind well before daylight and the first deer we saw happened to be the one we were after. Rhonda made a great shot at 20 yards and the rest is history. She followed this up by taking a doe that afternoon. If this keeps up, we may have to invest in another freezer!

    September 11, 2012 at 12:45pm

    Congrats on a great hunt and a very unique trophy to go with it! Aside from being turkey hunters, you and I have something in common. Believe it or not, the first turkey I ever killed had a triple beard, as well. But that was a looooong time ago. Again, congratulations!

    April 11, 2016 at 5:26pm
    A comment titled: That's awesome! in response to a report titled: Samantha Brown

    So you can take getting a buck with a huge drop-tine off your bucket list! Congratulations to both of you!

    January 01, 2015 at 10:05pm
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Opening Day

    Those weird non-typicals are the best. Very unique. Again, congrats!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:35am
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Nice First Kill

    Great first buck...and you got him late in the season when the hunting gets really tough. Way to persevere. Again, congrats!

    December 24, 2014 at 5:30am
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Just a nice buck

    Late season bucks are usually the most difficult to come by. Way to persevere. Again, congrats!

    December 21, 2014 at 1:13pm

    That is absolutely incredible. When I was 5 I couldn't even ride a bicycle without training wheels....and Karis is shooting big 8 point bucks! Times are changing...deer hunting is definitely not just for the boys anymore. And I for one am glad to see it. The more the better...and the younger the better. Congratulations Miss Karis and congrats also to the whole family for supporting you and celebrating this accomplishment with you. You all made some great memories and that's what it's all about.

    December 16, 2014 at 12:50pm
    A comment titled: Bittersweet indeed. in response to a report titled: Bittersweet Buck

    My hope for you is that though you can't help but associate your bagging that beautiful buck with the day your Grandfather went to be with the Lord, that over time it will become a more and more special association and ultimately that buck will mean even more to you for that very reason. Your description of it being 'bittersweet' is very appropriate. My hope for you is that over time the memories associated with that gorgeous buck will become more and more sweet...and less and less bitter. Thank you for sharing your story.

    December 11, 2014 at 8:28pm
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: 8 point Surprise

    As fulfilling as it is I'm sure to video your daughter and share in her hunting successes....it does feel nice to drop the hammer on one yourself every now and again doesn't it?! I'll bet she was as happy for you as you've been for her. Again, congratulations!

    December 04, 2014 at 1:38pm
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: First deer

    That's a great-looking first buck....and first or last, it's a buck any hunter would be proud of. Again, congratulations!

    December 03, 2014 at 9:10am
    A comment titled: Congrats! in response to a report titled: BiggGreasy

    That's a great looking and unique buck you got yourself BiggGreasy! That drop-tine is especially interesting. Again, congratulations!

    December 02, 2014 at 8:31am
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Brittany Luebchow

    I especially love seeing you ladies out there enjoying the hunting experience and having so much success. That's a great looking buck you've got there. Again, congratulations!

    December 02, 2014 at 8:27am
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Nice Nine

    That's a really good looking buck you got yourself. Again, congratulations!

    December 02, 2014 at 8:20am
    A comment titled: What a story! in response to a report titled: Surry Co 10

    And what a happy ending too! It's not often you get a second chance on a buck like that...but the fact that you did and made good on it makes for an awesome story. The icing on the cake is that he had gotten even bigger! You're right...that is a cool story. Congratulations!

    December 01, 2014 at 8:11am
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Black Powder buck

    There's always something special about getting a burly buck with the ol' smoke pole. Again, congrats!

    November 24, 2014 at 2:56pm
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: Big Day All Around in Rockingham County

    What a wonderful story...and what a great buck your son got! You two have made a lifetime of memories in those 6 short years...and I'm sure you'll be making many, many more as time goes on. Again, congrats to you both!

    November 24, 2014 at 2:52pm
    A comment titled: Congratulations! in response to a report titled: 16 year old girl takes BIG 10 In Randolph county

    That's great...I especially love seeing the ladies out there enjoying success in the deer woods. That's a bruiser of a buck you've got there too. Again, congratulations!

    November 20, 2014 at 11:27am
    A comment titled: Wow!! in response to a report titled: First Buck

    What an incredible accomplishment, especially for such a young hunter! That's a great deer too...one any hunter would be proud of. Congratulations on your first buck! I've got a feeling it won't be your last.

    November 06, 2014 at 7:44am
    A comment titled: I'm a lucky man indeed! in response to a report titled: Rhonda's Big 9 Pointer

    When Rhonda started hunting with me 11 years ago, I never dreamed it would ever come to this, but she has evolved into quite the huntress. I thoroughly enjoy the time we spend together on-stand or in the blinds, and I'm so happy to be able to share in the success she's been so blessed to have thus far. Since crossbows became legal archery tackle in 2010, Rhonda has bagged 6 really nice bucks and 5 does if I remember correctly. She gets up early and puts in the time, and when the moment of truth arrives, she puts the arrow right where it's supposed to go, time after time. I couldn't be more proud!

    As for me...I've evolved into more of a picture taker/purse-holder. ;) And I'm loving every minute of it! Thanks for your comments CastNBlast3.

    October 30, 2014 at 3:03pm
    A comment titled: County in response to a report titled: Rhonda's Big 9 Pointer

    Thanks! We were in Orange County.

    October 27, 2014 at 9:57am
    A comment titled: Congratulations little lady! in response to a report titled: MY FIRST BUCK

    I'll bet your Daddy is very happy that you enjoy going hunting with him and I'm also sure he's very proud of you for getting your first deer. It's incredible that you were able to get it at such an early age too. Congratulations to you...and also to your Dad for making time to take you out there with him so you too can enjoy the outdoors. You both made some great lifelong memories. And one more thing...if I was that buck, I would be honored to be your first deer!

    November 13, 2013 at 11:57am
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