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Family Deer Hunters Have a Season of Firsts

Looking back at the 2010 deer season, it was a season of firsts for one Kretz Lumber family. Beginning with a brother and sister team, Michael and Lindsay Koeppel had a season to remember. During the bow season Mike was taking advantage of parent-teacher conferences and was in his stand early in the morning with his grunt call, doe bleat and rattling antlers. Soon after daylight he started his rattling grunt sequence and had a fork buck checking things out. A little while later a 6-pointer came in but he was determined to hold out for a bigger buck. Some more grunting and rattling and an 8-pointer with attitude came in looking for a fight. Mike was surprised at how quickly and silently this deer showed up and he knew he had to take advantage of moving only when the buck looked away. Trying to calm his nerves he drew back and shot. It was a good shot and the buck made it about 40 yards. This was his first buck with a bow.

Lindsay who hadn’t hunted in seven years decided to head home and join the group during gun season. Not being able to make it on opening weekend, she joined the hunt on Thanksgiving weekend. That Thursday afternoon she optimistically headed to the stand with her dad. Not too long after sitting, out came a nub buck which was fun to watch. A little while later she spotted a buck coming their way but instead of heading to the field, he changed direction and went into thick cover. As the afternoon continued she saw a couple of does but then she spotted the buck on the edge of the thick conifers. Carefully she got her rifle in position and she did her best to calm her nerves. Taking careful aim she fired and saw the buck drop and disappear in the thicket. Filled with excitement, Lindsay wanted to get out of the stand right away but her dad made her wait. When she and her dad checked it was late afternoon and they decided to look in the morning. It was a long night and quite a few prayers were said. The next morning with the help of Mike, Uncle Tony and her dad they found her 7-pointer, her first buck.

The last day of season the group decided to do some drives to see if they could find a buck. Mike was a driver on the first drive and no success. On the second drive Mike headed for the stand on the creek and waited for the drivers. There was movement in the alder brush. When he saw the headgear he didn’t have to look twice to decide it was a shooter. The buck hit an opening and Mike grunted to get the deer to stop. As he went to pull the trigger he quickly realized the safety was still on. Trying not to let buck fever get the best of him he aimed and shot. The buck jumped and ran into the brush. Mike was confident he heard the deer drop. When his dad got to the stand it didn’t take long to figure out by the big smile on Mike’s face who shot. A 20 yard tracking job and Mike had his biggest buck by far.

A great end to the family’s 2010 deer hunt.

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