June 2003
Marietta, GA

Hi, my name is Cory Hughes and I live in Marietta, GA. I'm 15 years old and have been hunting since I was 11. I got into hunting through my Dad and my Uncles. We hunt in Sharon, GA. It's a town about 10 miles outside of Crawfordville, GA. We've been in a highly respected hunt club down in there since my Dad (who is now 43) was a teenager.

That weekend I hadn't planned on going hunting even though it was the opening day of gun season. Gun season started on October 21. We were eating dinner at Captain D's when I found out my Uncle Scott was going hunting that weekend. Instantly, I asked my Dad if I could call Uncle Scott to see if he could take me with him this weekend. He said I could and Uncle Scott said he could take me. It was a Friday that I didn't have school so I spent the afternoon with Uncle Scott at his work talking about cars and such. We left there sometime in the afternoon.

My other uncle who was there, Uncle Eric, was already down there and finishing the black powder season with an evening hunt. Uncle Scott and I just sat around the fire talking about tomorrow's hunt.

We got up that morning about 6 am. I was with my Uncle Scott in a well known spot for bucks. We sat around for a while until we saw a doe walking around. She seemed pretty spooked at something. We couldn't figure what it
was until a bird took a dive right for her head. She jumped up, bounced about 10 feet and stopped. She acted very upset and was snorting and bobbing her head up and down at that bird. We just laughed at her. Later on, we saw a couple of does and a pretty good buck. Uncle Scott was in a tree climber and couldn't see the buck. I was probably about 5 feet below him and could see his tail flicking and his massive rack moving up and down as he was feeding. I didn't want to take a risky shot because there was lots of cover and he was probably 120 to 130 yards away. I figured that the Remington .243 I was using couldn't easily take that shot anyways. It was an exciting hunt but no real luck.

That afternoon, while we were back at camp, my Uncle Eric and Red, a close friend of the family and long time hunter, taught me how to use a tree climbing stand. Uncle Scott was inside the camper sleeping.lol. Uncle Eric
figured that I was doing well enough to use the stand for the evening hunt.

I again hunted with Uncle Scott in the same area as we had that morning. When I went to wake up Uncle Scott, I had told him that I felt good about that evening hunt, and wanted to leave quickly. Uncle Scott told me that
he knew exactly where he going to put me. It was only 40 yards ahead of him but, it was along a clear-cut. I climbed up okay, but I made a lot of noise because it was my first time climbing in the woods so I was a bit
nervous. After getting up, I figured because I had made so much noise, that I wouldn't see anything. But to my surprise, about 10 minutes after I got up, I heard a grunt to my left. I'd figured that it was Uncle Scott getting in the first grunt so I didn't pay that much attention to it.

Right after that, I heard an answering grunt and had no doubt that this one was Uncle Scott. My heart began to quicken as I realized that the first call was indeed a buck.

I only sat for a few more minutes until I heard that sweet rustling sound of leaves that every hunter loves to hear. I looked about northwest of me and right at the edge of the clear-cut, I saw some movement. I looked a little bit harder and realized that it was a deer but I couldn't tell what it was. As he was feeding along the ground, he turned the top of his head toward me. It was then that I knew that this deer was a buck. Not a bad buck either. My heart was pounding as I brought my True Talker Grunt Call to my lips. I slowly grunted twice. The buck looked up, and started to slowly make his way into the hardwoods and out of the clear-cut. I raised the .243 slowly as I saw that the buck was walking into a small clear area about 40 yards directly ahead of me. He walked into it and stopped as he found an acorn to eat. I fired the gun and at first thought the shot was a little too low. But the shot was perfect.

He brought his leg up to his chest and stumbled a few steps. I heard him crash into the leaves not far away, but couldn't see him.

I called my uncles and told them that I had got him. I felt like jumping out of my stand to get to my deer, but immediately rejected this idea since I was 20 feet up.lol. I saw to my right some movement, but I realized that it was Uncle Eric walking over to look for my buck. Uncle Scott came right up underneath me without me noticing and asked where I saw the buck go. I pointed him to where the buck went. He told me to go ahead and climb down. Uncle Eric who was watching us told me to stop and tell him where I saw the buck go( he was pulling my leg,he'd already found the deer and was making me think I missed it). I pointed where he went again and climbed down. I got up to them and began to panic as they said they couldn't find the deer. I started to walk and only 10 yards from
where he was shot, lay a buck. I got up to him and became very excited to see that I had killed an 8 point buck.

When we got back to camp, We measured out a 13 inch spread. We never weighed the buck but he was good enough for my Dad to get mounted for me.