At just 8 years old, Logan Lovell has already harvested the buck of a lifetime.
On September 18th, he dropped a magnificent 12-point single that had an astounding three drop-tines.
He was hunting with his father Clyde on some public land in Benton Country when the buck stepped into a clearing about 50 yards from his tree stand on the opening morning of the state’s youth hunting season.
However, the hunt did not go as planned from there. He missed his first shot at the deer. But the hunt didn’t end there, as the young hunter explained to Field & Stream.
“I thought it was a really good deer, so I really wanted to shoot it. Whenever I go to shoot at any deer, I get really bad buck fever. So that’s why I missed the first shot. I was shaking too much.”
Logan and Clyde first started seeing deer at around 7:30 AM that morning when they spotted four does and a 4-pointer meandering towards them at about 75 yards. Then the big 12-pointer appeared behind the other deer, and Clyde told his son to get his gun ready because the big buck was worth taking a shot at.
Logan readied himself and pulled the trigger but completely missed the deer. Luck was on his side, though, as he would get another shot, this time with a bit of help from his dad.
“I told him to shoot again, and I put my arm across the shooting rail of the tree stand so he could rest his gun on my arm.”
The missed shot wasn’t due to a lack of practice. Logan spends a good amount of time at the gun range and regularly hits the targets at up to 100 yards with his Great Lakes Legends 350 Rifle.
This was just Logan’s second-year deer hunting, but he’s already struggled with his fair share of missed shots. Last year while muzzleloader hunting, he missed five different does before successfully harvesting an 8-point buck.
Clyde said that with previous misses in the back of his mind, his son was quick to assume he missed yet another shot.
“He’s pretty quick to get down on himself. Right away, he said, ‘I missed him, didn’t I, Dad?’ I said, ‘I don’t know buddy, let’s just keep looking.'”
About 20-yards into the tall grass, Clyde stopped to let Logan catch up to him.
“He got up right beside me. He just kind of looked at me, and then he looked around for a second and got a big smile and said, ‘Yeah, there it is!’ He thought he was showing me the deer, that he had found it first, and that added to the excitement.”
The excitement built even more, when they realized the buck was even more special than they initially thought. They didn’t realize the buck had 3-drop tines until they were able to get their hands on the antlers.
When he first saw the buck’s antlers, Clyde assumed the buck was still shedding his velvet and never expected there to be that many drop tines. Logan said that he had only seen drop-tine bucks online and not in real life.
The most special part of the whole experience was the memories made between father and son, though. The whole Lovell family is into the great outdoors, and Logan and his older brother TJ, who is 11-years-old are very competitive with one another when it comes to hunting, fishing, and target shooting.
Their family home has three big bucks on the wall, 2 of which were harvested by Clyde and another taken by Logan’s mom Sabrina. This drop-tine buck figures to be the 4th one on the wall, though. That same weekend Logan’s brother TJ also shot an 8-point buck from the same exact tree stand.
Clyde hasn’t filled a deer tag in two years, but that’s okay with him. He said now that his boys are old enough, most of his focus is on teaching them how to hunt.
“The two of them keep me moving. It’s amazing to see the boys progress on each hunt. It’s pretty tough hunting on public ground, but we make do with what we’ve got. It kind of opened both of their eyes this year, getting nice bucks. They are there, but you gotta work for them.”
Even though he already filled on buck tag, hunting season isn’t over for Logan just yet.
He plans to get back out with his dad with a muzzleloader again later in the season, something Clyde is looking forward to just as much as Logan.
“It’s all about getting them ready to do it on their own and someday teach their own kids.”