November 24, 2020
It was the warm afternoon of Nov. 1, second day of Missouri’s 2020 youth firearms season, and Brookfield residents Cole Huwar and his dad, Josh, were walking to their elevated blind overlooking a soybean field.
As they walked, Josh could see the excitement in the 9-year-old’s eyes. They talked about what they might encounter together on this hunt. Soon father and son settled into their blind, which overlooked beans Josh had left standing to attract deer.
It wasn’t long before the crop did just that. Cole watched patiently as three bucks fed in the beans and bumped around at least 10 does. Then, with shadows creeping across the field, the boy noticed something moving in a brushy draw about 200 yards in front of the blind.
A doe burst into the beans. And what Cole and Josh witnessed next was the stuff of every deer hunter’s dreams: a huge buck they’d never seen appearing like a ghost. The moment the hunters saw the massive deer, they knew he was something special. Josh talked to Cole to try to keep him calm as the buck moved closer to the blind. Cole steadied his .22-250 rifle, which he’d used to take other deer. Knowing this was the buck of a lifetime, Josh told Cole to just let the buck keep coming.
The magnificent whitetail slowly approached from 200 yards, wandering a bit. He ate beans and checked does, adding to the tension. Then he finally stopped at 170 yards, offering a broadside shot. Cole told his dad he felt he could make the shot, so Josh gave him the green light.
At the crack of Cole’s gun, the mighty buck dropped in his tracks! The hunting blind erupted with the Huwars’ excitement. Cole couldn’t wait to get his hands on the massive buck, which never been seen on the farm. Although Josh practices extensive quality management on his farms, with this buck there were no game camera pictures, no sightings, nothing. The drama of Cole’s first encounter with a record-book whitetail is one that he and his dad now will remember for the rest of their lives.
The non-typical sported 17 scorable points and a tremendous “green” gross score of 201 6/8 inches. Not surprisingly, when Cole entered his deer into a local youth buck contest, he won the grand prize: a new scoped .243 rifle, a free shoulder mount and a bronze of a deer head.
Cole kept the free mount and bronze but donated the rifle back for another kid to win, because he felt he already had a good one.
“I love my .22-250 rifle,” he noted. “And since I already have it, then maybe another kid that might not have a good rifle can have this one.” With that, Cole drew the name of another lucky winner for the rifle. Not only that, he donated the venison from his trophy harvest to a local family in need.
There are some life lessons I think we all can learn from young and giving Cole Huwar. So, congratulations on the buck of a lifetime, young man. You deserved him.