Twenty-five minutes into my hunt one November afternoon last fall I looked up and saw him. From sixty yards away, his huge body and perfect ten-point rack were unmistakable. Without a doubt in my mind, I knew it was Franz.
After watching him bed down with a doe, I grabbed my phone and sent a text to Johnny. It simply read, “Franz, bedded with a doe at 60 yards.” No need to describe the buck in detail to him, the name Franz was enough to bring back memories of the dozen trail camera pictures we had of him.
Ten years ago I would have thought naming a buck was a little odd. To some people, it may seem a little strange that we would name something we are trying to kill. So, why do we do it?
Sure, it makes relaying your buck encounters easier with your hunting partners, but I believe it also shows respect for the animals. As hunters we have a deep appreciation for the game we chase and feel a connection to them. Since I have started naming bucks, it seems as if I have developed more of a connection with the ones I have seen year after year. It’s more personal, to me, to call a buck Franz than “that 10 point.” After all, Franz was a nine point the year before.
Naming bucks also adds some extra fun to the hunt. Justin Zarr once said, “Naming bucks is half the fun of hunting them!” Really, it is. Some names describe the rack, the body, or sometimes I try to have a little more fun and name them after unique movie characters, sports greats and even mythical legends. Here are a few of my favorites from the last couple of years.
Bill Brasky was named after a character on Saturday Night Live.
Franz was also named after a character on Saturday Night Live.
Unfortunately we haven't seen his buddy Hanz for a couple years.
Salad Fingers was named by Dustin Decroo after an internet cartoon of the same name.
Big 8 was simply named after his big 8 point frame.
With a new season right around the corner, I’m starting to put out some trail cameras in hopes of seeing some old friends and hopefully getting the chance to name some new ones. Will Bill Brasky, Franz, Big 8, or Salad Fingers still be around? Will there be new bucks to name? I sure hope so, because I’ve got some great ideas for names this year!