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The Homecoming Buck

The Homecoming Buck

OL's Hunting Editor Andrew McKean returns to his Missouri family farm for a farewell to his childhood home and his late father. He came away with the best buck of his life.
missouri09_1

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from revort wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

What a great story. The emotion of a father passed away and a farm about to pass also, is incredible. The deer is a great animal, but the hunt is what it is all about. Non-hunters will never understand why we do what we do. Such is their loss.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris V. wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Great Deer! Why are you saying farewell to your childhood home?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris V. wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Great Deer! Why are you farewell to your childhood home?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingEditor wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

All, thanks so much for your comments, and for adding to what's been an amazing story. I wanted to give you an update on one of the "characters" in this story. It's Mark Copenhaver, my Montana friend who shot that great 4x4 on my family farm and who is pictured in this gallery. His own father passed away on Jan. 1, after a short and unexpected illness.

After Mark and I drove back to Montana, he returned to his own family farm and hunted for a day with his father. As he told me the other day, that trip to Missouri and seeing me walk in my father's footsteps and hunt in his memory prompted him to hunt with his own father. He couldn't know at the time that it would be their last hunt.

Jerry Copenhaver's funeral is Wednesday at 11 a.m. in his hometown of Rudyard, Montana.

Andrew McKean
Hunting Editor

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PittsburghDeerH... wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Best story I've ever read, no exaggeration. Your father truly lead you to that buck and harvesting an animal with your fathers favorite rifle where you grew up in the same spot where he said the big boys would be. That's a beautiful story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from runninroo wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Thanks for bringing us there with you. I could feel the cold from the belly crawl and the warmth from the experience. You are a good man.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Great buck and even better story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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from Linebacker97 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

The best story I have ever read on Outdoor Life.com. I felt so connected with all of it. When my father passed away unexpectedly I too now have very emotional hunts. The memories hunting with my dad provided were awesome and I am so very happy you shared this one with us. Great story and may God Bless you.

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from alrjr wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Merry Christmas!Very nice buck & a touching story.I my opinion if you can keep the farm & don't your nuts.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KansasBoy wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

This story hits home. My dad and I hunted for years on my Grandpa's farm in northern Missouri. My dad passed away when I was in high school, but I kept going. My Grandpa decided to sell his farm this past spring. We knew it was in the works, so I took dad's trusty .243 and shot a doe off the old farm. It wasn't a monster buck or any great story to tell, just a good memory for me.

Thank you for this post...this is what hunting is supposed to be about...not B&C scores and junk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from pschubeee wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Great deer and good account of how it happened. Fathers passing on hunting wisdom is how it should be.

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from wv trapper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew great deer.

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from Jasper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

A bond between a hunting Dad and son is very strong and it's obvious you two were and still extremely close. Congrats on all accounts and fantastic buck!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Very moving story--
Nothing I can add
all choked up.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cjohnsrud wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew. This is an awesome story! What a great way to honor the memories of your Father.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from GGNYC wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew,

Thank you sharing the story of this hunt. We all feel a mix of emotions while reading this tale, and I'm sure it was bittersweet for you to write it down.

Mulybux has it right...your father is certainly proud of the son he raised.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mulybux wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew, your father raised a quality hunter, exceptional father and great man. You should be very proud of where you came from, your family and friends, as well as where you are going. We share many things but this singular common thread will bond us for the rest of our lives.......it's about the pursuit, not the result. Though I must admit over the years the results have been spectacular! Thanks for sharing your journey home and your emotions with us all! We all need to remember that our lives are shaped by those around us, by those we hold close, by our experiences and the love and admiration we share for one another. I couldn't be happier for you! Rest in Peace Mike, your son is a great young man!

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from HawgNSons.Com wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Awesome deer!

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from PinkCamo wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Amazing story. As a first time hunter, I just had the pleasure of harvesting my first deer. It was literally the best feeling i've ever had in my life. This story is beautiful and makes me wish that I had a childhood place to still call home. I cant wait to continue my hunting endevous and someday have a hunting family who can have land to call their own.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louie wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Very very good article Andrew. I am sorry to hear about your loss. He was with you every inch of the way, by the way awesome buck!
Louie

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from hmichaelis wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Wish I could write half as well as you do...one of the best articles that I've read. Great pictures too. :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from GRIPNRIP wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Man I got chills reading this story. Your father definately guided you to that buck. You are a stand up guy and many other hunters should look up to you congrats!! Gripnrip

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

great buck, and your friend mark's deer is a good buck also.Great story.

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from andersonjk4 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Exceptional story and a great lesson as to the importance of getting younger generations into hunting and the outdoors.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I`ll have to say my opinion this is the best post I had the pleasure to read. Pretty amazing how your father new right where to tell you where to look for the big boy in the future & on your last time there sounded like you where spirituality connected to the land because how you visited your old hunting spots. Then it all turned out like your father sat there & imagined many times how it would be. I'm glad to see you honor the buck with your tears seems to me like your dad & the man above asked the buck to sacrifice his self for your healing process of loosing your father. Its no doubt he was there with you evrey inch of the hunt because I think it was his way to let you know that he is still with you spirituality & hes waiting to bump into you again threw the circle of life & beyond . "DJH" bows his head in respects

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from patrick88 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

andrew thats a great buck young man way to go!

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from www.dropjhook.com wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I`ll have to say my opinion this is the best post I had the pleasure to read. Pretty amazing how your father new right where to tell you where to look for the big boy in the future & on your last time there sounded like you where spirituality connected to the land because how you visited your old hunting spots. Then it all turned out like your father sat there & imagined many times how it would be. I'm glad to see you honor the buck with your tears seems to me like your dad & the man above asked the buck to sacrifice his self for your healing process of loosing your father. Its no doubt he was there with you evrey inch of the hunt because I think it was his way to let you know that he is still with you spirituality & hes waiting to bump into you again threw the circle of life & beyond . "DJH" bows his head in respects

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from bigjake wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

great buck, and your friend mark's deer is a good buck also.Great story.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from GRIPNRIP wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Man I got chills reading this story. Your father definately guided you to that buck. You are a stand up guy and many other hunters should look up to you congrats!! Gripnrip

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from hmichaelis wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Wish I could write half as well as you do...one of the best articles that I've read. Great pictures too. :)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Louie wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Very very good article Andrew. I am sorry to hear about your loss. He was with you every inch of the way, by the way awesome buck!
Louie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from PinkCamo wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Amazing story. As a first time hunter, I just had the pleasure of harvesting my first deer. It was literally the best feeling i've ever had in my life. This story is beautiful and makes me wish that I had a childhood place to still call home. I cant wait to continue my hunting endevous and someday have a hunting family who can have land to call their own.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mulybux wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew, your father raised a quality hunter, exceptional father and great man. You should be very proud of where you came from, your family and friends, as well as where you are going. We share many things but this singular common thread will bond us for the rest of our lives.......it's about the pursuit, not the result. Though I must admit over the years the results have been spectacular! Thanks for sharing your journey home and your emotions with us all! We all need to remember that our lives are shaped by those around us, by those we hold close, by our experiences and the love and admiration we share for one another. I couldn't be happier for you! Rest in Peace Mike, your son is a great young man!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from GGNYC wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew,

Thank you sharing the story of this hunt. We all feel a mix of emotions while reading this tale, and I'm sure it was bittersweet for you to write it down.

Mulybux has it right...your father is certainly proud of the son he raised.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from cjohnsrud wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew. This is an awesome story! What a great way to honor the memories of your Father.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from charlie elk wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Very moving story--
Nothing I can add
all choked up.
later,
charlie

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jasper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

A bond between a hunting Dad and son is very strong and it's obvious you two were and still extremely close. Congrats on all accounts and fantastic buck!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from pschubeee wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Great deer and good account of how it happened. Fathers passing on hunting wisdom is how it should be.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from patrick88 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

andrew thats a great buck young man way to go!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from andersonjk4 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

Exceptional story and a great lesson as to the importance of getting younger generations into hunting and the outdoors.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HawgNSons.Com wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Awesome deer!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wv trapper wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Andrew great deer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from KansasBoy wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

This story hits home. My dad and I hunted for years on my Grandpa's farm in northern Missouri. My dad passed away when I was in high school, but I kept going. My Grandpa decided to sell his farm this past spring. We knew it was in the works, so I took dad's trusty .243 and shot a doe off the old farm. It wasn't a monster buck or any great story to tell, just a good memory for me.

Thank you for this post...this is what hunting is supposed to be about...not B&C scores and junk.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from alrjr wrote 4 years 16 weeks ago

Merry Christmas!Very nice buck & a touching story.I my opinion if you can keep the farm & don't your nuts.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Linebacker97 wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

The best story I have ever read on Outdoor Life.com. I felt so connected with all of it. When my father passed away unexpectedly I too now have very emotional hunts. The memories hunting with my dad provided were awesome and I am so very happy you shared this one with us. Great story and may God Bless you.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Great buck and even better story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from runninroo wrote 4 years 15 weeks ago

Thanks for bringing us there with you. I could feel the cold from the belly crawl and the warmth from the experience. You are a good man.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from PittsburghDeerH... wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Best story I've ever read, no exaggeration. Your father truly lead you to that buck and harvesting an animal with your fathers favorite rifle where you grew up in the same spot where he said the big boys would be. That's a beautiful story.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from HuntingEditor wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

All, thanks so much for your comments, and for adding to what's been an amazing story. I wanted to give you an update on one of the "characters" in this story. It's Mark Copenhaver, my Montana friend who shot that great 4x4 on my family farm and who is pictured in this gallery. His own father passed away on Jan. 1, after a short and unexpected illness.

After Mark and I drove back to Montana, he returned to his own family farm and hunted for a day with his father. As he told me the other day, that trip to Missouri and seeing me walk in my father's footsteps and hunt in his memory prompted him to hunt with his own father. He couldn't know at the time that it would be their last hunt.

Jerry Copenhaver's funeral is Wednesday at 11 a.m. in his hometown of Rudyard, Montana.

Andrew McKean
Hunting Editor

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris V. wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Great Deer! Why are you farewell to your childhood home?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris V. wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Great Deer! Why are you saying farewell to your childhood home?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from revort wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

What a great story. The emotion of a father passed away and a farm about to pass also, is incredible. The deer is a great animal, but the hunt is what it is all about. Non-hunters will never understand why we do what we do. Such is their loss.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

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