Great things come when you least expect it and, in this case, local 12-year-old hunter Bryson Harris found an unexpected gem while hunting one morning with his father, D.J. Harris. One early morning in Blossom before he went to school, Bryson sat in a two-man deer blind with his dad. As the morning action heated up, the climax soon arrived.
“We actually have 20 acres nearby in our house in Blossom before school. We were going to go out just for a little bit to hunt before he had to go to school,” Harris said. “There’s a two-man tree stand we have and we saw a doe with a little four-point chasing her, which got him excited since we haven’t seen many deer this year. I didn’t know what time it was since I left my phone at the house, so I told Bryson we had just a few more minutes. We saw an eight-point come out from the right side, and I knew it was a legal deer.”
The moment of truth
Even though hunters possess nerves of steel, those nerves are still prone to increased anxiety and blood pressure. Even though he shook like an autumn leaf inside the blind, young Bryson capitalized on all of his hard work and experience leading up to this moment in taking down his first-ever trophy buck.
“I felt him (Bryson) shake so hard in the stands when he saw him. I told him when he crosses in front of us that he needs to aim and fire,” Harris said. “He hit a perfect shot, we went out to look for him in the woods, and it was his first pair of big antlers he put his hands on. It was cool because it was right by our house. He’s worked hard with scouting, filling up feeders … it was the first deer he killed off our property, and he’s still on cloud nine.”
Character and work ethic producing great success
The biggest resonating moment for Bryson’s father, though, had nothing to do with the deer that lay in front of them. Instead, Harris enjoyed seeing his 12-year-old son show a high level of gratitude right after executing his most significant hunting accomplishment to date.
“He teared up a little bit because of all the emotions. He thanked the Lord, gave me a big hug, and thanked me for taking him hunting all the time,” Harris said. “It was a cool moment.”
Long before he killed his first big buck on his own soil, Bryson consistently and diligently worked with his dad to maintain, preserve, and study the family’s hunting grounds. No matter what the task is, Bryson has shown the initiative, maturity, and willingness to work hard that it requires to be a quality hunter and person.
“On multiple occasions, he has carried a five-gallon bucket over 300 yards back to the feeder, and he always insists he will do it even if it does take a while,” Harris said. “He’s always helped me cut limbs and check game cameras, and he scattered seed one day to plant some winter wheat while I was mowing. Anything I will let him do, he is willing to do it. He is a responsible young man. He has lots of chores and responsibilities around the house that he does every single day. He’s a really good kid, makes straight A’s — we are really proud of him.”
What is in store after the big hunting score?
After Bryson dropped his dream deer, both he and his father hauled it back to their home and took it to get processed after measuring the trophy buck. Harris estimated the deer to be between three-and-a-half and four years old with a 15-inch-wide rack. Harris said he was also impressed with the eight-point whitetail buck’s girth. He said the deer’s head size alone was about twice the size of an eight-point buck his wife Daysha Harris shot in the past.
“We took him to Ray’s Processing in Sumner, Texas. When I took him to the processor, it was one of the biggest deer I’ve handled in terms of body size — he’s just a big deer. It took everything in us to drag it out of the woods,” Harris said. “We will get a couple of sacks of meat out of it like steaks, ground burger meat, and backstraps. We did a European mount of the deer, too, instead of a traditional shoulder mount. It’ll just be the skull mount with the antlers.”