Brooke Kennedy: My Last-Chance Buck

Brooke Kennedy, 15, of Thurmont, Mary., is a member of the Generation Wild Jr. Pro Staff.

If you asked your average teenager what they are going to be doing at 4 a.m. on a Saturday morning, most would say sleeping, but not me! The last day of Maryland's rifle season had finally come and I had not yet harvested a deer for the season.

It was 4 a.m. and my alarm was blaring, but I jumped up right away and started to get ready to head out into the woods. I ate breakfast while my dad packed the truck with all of our gear. I was so eager to get into my treestand. Finally, we left my house and headed for our normal hunting spot on our family dairy farm. My dad and I are two of about 15 family members and friends who hunt on the property, so you can say we have a full house.

I was sitting in my treestand in the dark waiting for the sun to come up. I was about 10 degrees outside with 15 mph winds blowing right in my face. We had about 6 inches of snow on the ground from the night before. As I sat there, I heard crashing and rustling down below my tree stand in brush, but I couldn't see anything because it was still too dark. I looked down at my phone to see what time it was and it was 6:35 a.m. Then, right as I looked up, I saw three silhouettes of deer running against the horizon. Of course, seeing a deer gets my adrenaline running and I was so excited. I had a feeling today was going to be a good day!

I will admit that I am like every teenager: I am addicted to my phone. I sat in my tree stand all morning and talked to my friends Zach and Ryan who were also out in the woods on their own property. They were not having any luck this season either. It was about 10:30 a.m. and I was starting to think this season was going to end up being a total blow out for everyone. Just as I was about to climb down from my stand a group of about nine deer came bolting down the hill. I sat back down and got my gun ready. My dad sat with the binoculars and looked to see what deer he thought was the biggest out of the group. The last one seemed to be my best bet. I put the gun up, looked through my scope and BANG! The deer kicked his hind legs and ran down the hill about 20 yards--dead on its feet. Only after I walked up on my deer did I realize that it wasn't a doe like I had thought. It was a one-horned spike! I was so excited to be able to put meat in my freezer this year. I must say that even though it wasn't a buck of a lifetime, any deer you harvest is a nice deer. And any deer you shoot on the last day of the season is a really nice deer!