The two things every deer hunter can remember are taking that first whitetail deer and their biggest buck. As a dad, another memory that will stick with you throughout the rest of your life is experiencing your child’s first deer and sharing this special moment together. Your child’s first deer brings those memories back and you realize the tradition of hunting has come full circle.

55bc One thing is for sure, 9-year old Mason Hancock and his father Justin will never forget the December 29, 2007 Kentucky free youth hunt season. Mason and his father were hunting their small family farm in Union County. Young Mason was hoping to have better luck than he had experienced during Kentucky’s early youth season in October when he received his first hard knock of hunting by missing a doe. Like all good hunters, Mason learned a lot from a painful mistake and was ready to try again. On this late-season trip, a buck that would test the nerves of even the most experienced hunter was about to walk out of a dream and into a cleared shooting lane.

Mason’s father spotted the giant buck and a doe cautiously moving toward their direction. He told his son to relax and get ready, but the overwhelming size of this deer even had his father a little shook. This time Justin steadied his aim and squeezed the trigger on the biggest buck either hunter had ever seen. Both hunters intently watched as the massive 23-point buck with four droptines walked slowly away. The bruiser bedded down within sight of their stand and minutes later its head dropped ending a hunt of a lifetime. The buck will officially be scored later this month, but is expected to net around 220. By the way, Mason rubbed it in on his old man that he has now taken the biggest buck in the family!55bd

Congratulations to both Mason and his father Justin on an unbelievable hunt. Way to hang in there Mason and good luck next fall.

—Travis Faulkner