The Grandson Gun
By Chuck Lloyd

I'm a guide from Brownville. For the past 12 years I have made part of my living guiding hunters in the Brownville, Kathadin Iron Works (KI) area. What keeps me motivated to continue guiding from year to year are the special memories of each season. For example, when I place someone on a deer stand and they connect on a good buck, often their first buck and sometimes their first deer, I smile. Or when I put a lot of work into finding a spot that a handicapped hunter can access that is also remote enough that a bear will come to the bait, I love seeing the look in his eyes when he gets a nice bear.

The 2002 deer season holds a special memory involving my 13- year- old grandson Alan. Each year I reserve the week of Thanksgiving to spend visiting with my family. Some come just to share in the holiday festivities and others to hunt with me. Some of them come for the whole week and some for a couple of days, depending on vacation time and their pocket book as they all live out of state. This year two of my cousins, and one of their sons, my son Chuck Jr. and his son Alan, plus my daughter's son Scotty came to hunt.

When we went out Wednesday morning, I assigned everyone stands and then sat on one myself. Some does were seen, but no one had an any-deer permit for the zone we were hunting in.

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At this point I would like to mention that back in October I purchased a youth model single shot rifle in .243 caliber made by New England Arms. This was for any of my 5 grandsons to use when needed. Scotty, who is 12, has had very little training in the use of a firearm, so my intention was to take him bird hunting with my 410 shotgun while the others were deer hunting. Alan became the first to have the opportunity to use the new gun.

Thanksgiving morning, I told my daughter to let Scotty sleep as they had arrived late the night before. I would return in a few hours to take him out.

When Scotty and I arrived at the area the others were hunting, my cousin George informed me that while watching some does on the crossing where he was posted, he caught some movement at the far of the area within view. It turned out to be a huge buck, but by the time he got his rifle up, the buck was already across and was piling into the brush.

We next met up with my son and grandson Alan. My son asked me if I would mind taking Alan with us, as he had a pretty good idea where the buck had gone. I said sure, I will take them down to the swale stand. Scotty could hunt birds on the way, then we would all sit for awhile and maybe Alan would get a chance at a deer.

We had not been on the stand more than 20 minutes when a doe crossed. Alan got himself into position and sure enough the buck came out a few minutes later but farther away. Alan did not get an opportunity to try out the gun, because they arrived well after dark on Tuesday and we left before dawn on Wednesday morning. So I was pretty nervous about him making the 135 yard shot with open sites, even though it grouped well when I sighted it in. To my surprise he shouldered the rifle, cocked the hammer and placed a 100 grain bullet right through the big buck's heart, just as though he had done it many times before even though it was his very first deer. The 8 point buck made one leap then folded and was already dead by the time we reached it. The buck dressed off at 204 pounds and had a 26" outside spread. Talk about proud! Alan was still grinning when I saw him at Christmas.

Check out Alan's buck on the front cover of this month's Sportin' Journal. I will cherish this picture of me, my son and grandson Alan with the big buck for the rest of my days. It will he a hard act to follow for the next grandson using that gun.

Chuck Lloyd is a Registered Maine Guide who lives in Brownville.

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