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Makin' Waves column: Sibling rivalry while hunting

My brother and I always had a bit of a sibling rivalry going. On multiple occasions he has claimed to be a better fisherman, a better hunter, and has even gone as far as to say he is the younger brother. Well, all of these claims could not possibly be any further from the truth. I have outfished him, outhunted him, I am eight years younger than him, and of course much better looking; but I digress a bit.

Years ago, we were hunting a big section of oak woods. Both of us had scouted before season and knew there were several big bucks that frequented the area. He had claimed to have seen a huge 11 pointer a few times, while I had my eye on a nice eight pointer. Regardless of what we ended up shooting, we knew it had to have a bigger rack than the others in order to retain bragging rights for the year and possible for years into the future.

Sitting in my deer stand opening morning, I waited patiently for the nice eight pointer to make an appearance. I had played the scenario out a million times in my head. The buck would come into the clearing about 20 yards in front of me and with one shot I would have a freezer full of delicious bragging rights.

When the buck first stepped into the clearing, I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or was really happening. And just like I had planned, with one shot it was a reality. Within seconds of me shooting, I heard the report of my brother's gun come from the other side of the woods. I knew in an instant he had got a shot at the huge 11 pointer he had been babbling about all week. I cringed to think about the thought of him having a bigger deer than me this year.

I gutted out my deer and drug it to the edge of the woods, and out of the corner of my eye saw my brother stomping through the snow breathing hard and sweating like a mad man. I may have forgot to mention I am better looking, and in better shape than him. Curiosity got the best of me, so I casually strolled down the line to meet him and brag about my buck. When I got to my brother, he was a babbling idiot. Talking about the big buck; how he had hit him, but the beast kept right on going. Me, being the younger, better looking, and in better shape brother that I am, offered to go track the buck for him.

About two miles into tracking my brother's deer, I realized who was the more naïve, gullible and foolish brother. I was breathing hard, covered in cockleburs, and sweating like a madman. I was following a pretty good blood trail though, so I did know that the deer could not have gone much further. About the same time I said that to myself, the big buck jumped up in front of me. I pulled up my gun, shot twice and the buck dropped.

Within minutes of me shooting, my brother came pulling up on his ATV. Shockingly he was not out of breath or sweating at this point. I said his big buck was lying in the clump of grass just ahead of us. He casually sauntered over there, looked down at the deer, looked back at me, looked down at the deer again, and proceeded to curse a blue streak at me. Not knowing what the heck he was cursing about I walked over and looked at the buck. My brothers 11 pointer was now a seven pointer. Seemed that one of my shots had blown one antler clean off the deer. I looked down at the deer, smiled, and said to him, "Guess my eight pointer is the bigger buck this year."