Greg Hood
Big Buck with Mr. Nasty
Big Buck with Mr. Nasty

Captain Greg Hood with Horseshoe buck
Captain Greg Hood with Horseshoe buck

This Story begins at a hunting camp in South Carolina called Jeff Richey's Big Buck adventures.

Jeff Richey is an old friend who invites me hunting every year with my boys. He is a big man who is half Italian and half Blackfoot Indian. He is called "Big Buck".

We make a wager at the camp every year, a $100 for the biggest rack.

In deer season of 2008 I was hunting in one of Big Buck's stands. It was hot and my hunt just wasn't going right. I had to climb a tall pine near a church.

I didn't go up the pine, and stayed on the ground and sat on a log. The sun was going down and I had a grunt call around my neck that I used every 15 minutes. Just close to dusk I grunted and from behind a thicket something started huffing so hard that I drew my rifle for protection.

This went on non-stop for maybe 30 seconds, so I hit my grunt again. Now this animal was really mad. I thought for sure it was going to charge me. I had my rifle up ready to shoot, but the beast never showed itself. I grunted one more time and it started moving down the hill and I never saw it. Later I asked Jeff what he thought it was, and he said, " it was probably a buck with a hot doe" and I was too close. "You should have gone up the tree".
So about 30 days went by and now Jeff is having a bad hunt near the Rut. He decides to go hunt the stand at the church. He is in the climber for about 15 minutes on a sunrise and hits his grunt call, followed by a snort wheeze. From the side of the hill a buck bursts out and comes on a fast trot grunting the whole way, right at Jeff. It stops in front of him and Jeff shoots the beast, a beautiful 9 point that he names Mr. Nasty. Needless to say, Jeff's Big Buck was the winner! My lesson was learned the hard way.

Deer season of 2009 brings all the hunting buddies together again, only by now we all have Indian names that Big Buck has given us. I'm given the name " Dances with Poons" because I chase Tarpon. I'm a fishing guide in the Sanibel Captiva area of Florida and my business is named Tarpoons. Rick is given the name "Gettum sum day", because he lets deer walk, or falls asleep. The last hunter is given the name "horseshoe up ass" because he is so lucky. He is also a great hunter.

One weekend before the opening of deer season we all get together and work on the food plots. This year the tractors had loosened up some hard clay and hit one of the trails a little hard with a disc. As I was closing a gate after a long hard weekend I looked down and saw an old horseshoe that was busted out of the ground. I went to pick it up and a strange feeling came over me, and as I touched it I said to myself "it's a lucky horseshoe!"

Big Buck was in the truck waiting for me and I showed it to him and his eyes opened up with fear and we laughed. We went to close another gate and I put the horseshoe on the disc to get something out of the truck. Jeff seized this opportunity and put the shoe in his pocket as a joke. When I came back from the truck I saw my lucky piece was gone. I asked Jeff about it, knowing he had it, after some scrapping he reached in his pocket where it was stuck. His new cell phone was in that pocket and as he removed the phone it was scratched by the shoe. Now he's mad and almost rips his pants trying to give it back.

He says to me "it must be karma". We head over to see Horseshoe up ass and as we drive in, he is outside and I say "Preston, I have good news and bad news. The bad news is you lost your horseshoe and the good news is, I found it"! Preston looks at me and says where is it? So I show it to him and his eyeballs almost pop out of his head! We laugh some more and head over to Big Buck's camp. Later that day Jeff is having a big cook out, and I start telling the story about the old horseshoe to friends and neighbors and we all laugh some more. Our friend Doug and his wife ask to see it. I show them the lucky piece and Doug looks at me with wide eyes again, and says "This is your year"!

Opening day of hunting season comes. On the 2nd day of the morning hunt I shoot a buck in the chest. I wait for Jeff so we can track it. He is a real good tracker. He finds the buck, but it is still alive and gives us the slip. We head over to Preston's for breakfast and I get ripped into by everyone at camp about rushing my shot.

I decide then to only take a deer if it gives me the perfect shot.

The evening hunt comes and I'm still upset about losing the deer.

Its raining but not real hard. I decide to slip into the woods early with the rain and this time I take the lucky horseshoe with me.

I'm in my stand about a half hour when I look behind me and there is a nice buck standing with a doe. He is facing me with his nose in the air and stands there for around ten minutes. Then he moves near and I hold the scope on him and see 8 points. I think to myself that it's a nice buck, but still not a perfect shot. All of a sudden he turns slowly and presents the perfect shot.

I couldn't believe it. I squeezed the trigger and the buck falls in his tracks.

I'm thinking to myself, what a perfect hunt.

I got a text message from Jeff, because he heard me shoot, and I told him about the buck. Later Jeff and I take pictures and move the deer to the processor where friends tell me how nice the deer is and we decide to have it mounted. The buck is given the name "THE HORSESHOE BUCK"!! The rack even has a horseshoe shape to it.

This is only the 2nd day of hunting season. I know the chance of this being the winner isn't good. Hunting season is Sept. 15th to Jan.1st.

Well as LUCK would have it, it is the winner!

Jan. 2nd 2010 I turned 50 years old and I got a phone call from Big Buck and Doug. They told me that this will be the first year for the Golden Horseshoe award! Instead of money, from now on we will give the hunter with the largest rack a gold plated horseshoe, and their name will be listed on a plaque kept at the camp.

The days spent at your hunting or fishing camp are great.

I hope you have enjoyed this story, and make some of your own memories.

Oh yes, I'm thinking of taking the horseshoe with me to buy a lottery ticket.

Captain Greg Hood

Greg Hood

About The Author: Captain Greg Hood

Company: Tarpoons

Area Reporting: Ft. Myers

Bio: Charter Fishing Guide Tarpon Fishing, Back bay, Flats Fishing. Snook, Redfish, and Seatrout. Full Time.

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