From left, Amber Pavek, Rachel DeHart and Chris Pavek show off their 2019 harvested bucks.

During the 2019 gun deer season, I, along with Amber Pavek and her father, Chris Pavek, all harvested bucks. Knowing the Pavek family for well over 10 years now, I’ve had the privilege to hunt many animals with them: black bear, coyotes, bobcats, partridge and white-tail deer.

The season started out with me and Amber in the afternoon of opening day. We were on a chunk of land in Langlade County, both sitting on opposite ends as we watched does pass through. We both knew what we were looking for.

“After sitting for three hours and watching several deer, a nice eight-point buck came in,” Amber said.

She watched him for awhile.

“Finally, after about an hour, I shot him,” she said.

Sitting a few miles from Amber, I heard the shot and knew my best friend got the job done. At that point, I got a call from her saying she got a buck, so I got out of my stand and started walking to her. We met up, got in the truck and loaded her hefty buck in the back.

Two days later, early in the morning after a fresh snowfall, Chris sat in his stand waiting and watching.

“I sat for about two hours and saw one doe pass through,” he said.

Not long after that, a wide spread eight-pointer came walking out.

“I took the shot and there he laid,” Chris said.

Hunting for 30 years now, Chris plans to keep the tradition going in his family.

Later that week, on Thanksgiving afternoon, I was sitting by myself as I watched two does pass by. A few hours later, a couple more came out, along with a spike buck. I watched the edge of the woods hoping to see a bigger buck walk out.

Shortly after, out of the edge of the woods walked a dandy buck, the biggest I had laid eyes on. He was over 200 yards from me, but I was determined, I dialed in on him through my scope and fired. As I got out of my stand, dusk settled in and all I could see what a big dark blob laying in the snow toward the woods line, I took off running and to my pleasure, saw a nice 10-point buck. I called up Amber and Chris to tell them the good news. Before I knew it, lights came down the road as Chris pulled up to help me load the buck in my truck.

Amber got a European mount done for her eight-pointer, Chris kept the antlers to his eight-pointer and I got a full neck mount for my 10-pointer.

All of us were grateful to have gotten these beautiful bucks for the 2019 season, and we’re eager to see what the 2020 season has in store.