My son, Jake, is 15 years old, and he and I both shot bucks this year in northern Minnesota. However, his buck was amazing! We were hunting in the Leech Lake area where our family has hunted for nearly five decades. Though I was born in Minnesota, after serving in the military, I ended up in Florida, where Jake and I live now, near Tampa. But we still have family in Minnesota, and each year we make it a point to return for deer camp — not only for the hunt, but for the camaraderie. At that camp, Jake has shot two deer in the past three years. But this year was special because he hunted by himself. It makes me happy to pass down this longstanding tradition to him and, soon, to his younger brother. It made me happy also, of course, to see that he shot a great 8-point buck — one that was considerably grander than the 6-pointer I shot. I’m having a shoulder mount made of Jake’s buck, and I’ll always appreciate the text I got from him in return: “Thanks for mounting it for me Dad. It’ll be a great memory of time spent with you that I’ll have forever and it means a lot to me. I love you.’’
Mike Larson, Tampa, Fla.