We have taken a lot of father and sons hunting throughout the years. Generally, this is the father taking the son. This hunt was reversed. The son took the father. Chris Bingaman from Pennsylvania has been coming with his dad, Max, for over 5 years. Max is now 82. They have hunted for whitetail their whole lives. Max has been hunting them for 66 years.
This past muzzleloader season Kendall took Max into what we call the “Petting Zoo”. All spots need a good name and there is a good reason why we call it that. That night Kendall took Max into the spot on our electric Ranger. This gave Max the opportunity to hunt one of our deeper spots that night and we could get him in quietly.
That night was mostly spent with Kendall practicing with Max on getting his gun quietly out the window and preparing for a good shot on what they both hoped would be a big mature whitetail. They didn’t have to wait long. With still good shooting light left the does and small bucks started showing up in the brush covered pasture. They use this to stage before heading out the nearby bean fields. At around 7 p.m. Max’s biggest buck to date showed up.
Kendall and Max went through the process of getting the gun out the window and setting Max up with his rest. They had to laugh. It was a lot easier when there wasn’t a big buck at 100 yards in front of them. Kendall settled Max in and when he was solid and ready Max pulled the trigger on his Muzzleloader. Kendall tried to get a good look at the shot, but due to the amount of smoke that rolled in the windows he lost the deer within seconds of the shot.
After talking about the shot and realizing that it would be to dark to go after the deer. We decided to go in the next morning. Max’s son Chris gave up his morning hunt to attend the recovery with his father. They started the search but didn’t find any blood to trail. They were all thinking the buck may have been missed until Kendall’s trailing dog “Hoss” raised his nose and dove into a thicket not more than 50 yards from the point of impact. There was the buck.
Chris would later tell us that this will be a memory with his dad he will never forget. Making memories for people is truly why we do what we do. We are so glad for Max on the biggest deer of his life and for Chris getting to have this time with his father.