Eastan West combined luck and a long day to bag a trophy mule deer on the first day of the season in a field.
West and his father had spotted the trophy buck just days before opening day, and sure enough when the two took to the field, he was there again. His dad wasn’t going to make it easy on 13-year-old Eastan.
“I was getting tired of walking, we walked about three miles all together,” West said of his day-long pursuit. “I wasn’t getting frustrated, just wanted to wait for the right shot. I didn’t want to mess with him too much so he’d go to the neighbors, patience is what it was.”
His patience paid off, as the two first saw the buck early in the morning as he was heading away from the party. The two followed the deer hoping to sneak up on him, but the buck had surrounded himself with around 40 doe, making a shot impossible.
A change in the wind moved the deer closer, but West still didn’t have a clear shot. He and his dad decided to let the deer wander for a few hours while they went to the truck and had lunch.
When they went out to the field, they found the buck again. Still, West didn’t feel he had a clear shot. So patience was employed again, as the two waited for about three hours. Another deer started to give chase to the prized buck and that’s when Eastan took his shot.
He breathed in, breathed out, and fired.
The shot hit the deer, and he began to stagger towards a canyon. Not wanting to venture down into the canyon with the sun starting to go down, West fired one more perfect shot, and dropped the deer right where it stood.
The buck gross scored at 214.5.
“I was pretty excited, I was really happy,” West said. “(My dad) was smiling from ear to ear. We both were.”
(Story courtesy: Rapid City Journal)
Union Center, South Dakota