Student’s passion for hunting travels cross country

Senior Keller Burks has hunted his whole life with the influence of his father and grandpa.

Senior Keller Burks has hunted most of his life in the various places he has lived. From Illinois to Alabama and now Iowa, with the help of his dad and grandpa, he has been able to experience different kinds of hunting in many different climates, but this year’s deer season was especially memorable for him.

“We haven’t gone since I was eleven, but I have been walking with [my grandpa] since I was about six or seven. I lived in Illinois the first 15 years of my life, so obviously when I started hunting, it was in Illinois. I was hunting pheasants, deer, squirrels, and then when I moved to Alabama, I turkey hunted and deer hunted, and I fished a lot, and then I moved here, and now I deer hunt and pheasant hunt, and squirrel and dove hunt too,” Burks said.

This year, although Burks has shot deer in the past, he was able to reach his dream of shooting a big buck in nearby Allamakee County near the Wisconsin border, and he said he will be able to remember this for a long time to come. 

“This was my first big buck. I shot a five pointer six years ago, and a button buck a while back. We decided that we were not going to mount this one. Just a felt mount because it scored a little over 130.”

Even though the goal was to shoot a deer, there were other points to the trip as well. “Our goals were to have fun and enjoy our last deer hunting trip together before I go off to college,” Burks said.

While Burks said any big kill is a great accomplishment in the hunting world, this particular event holds special meaning to him as he was able to commemorate and honor his grandfather, from whom he acquired his love for hunting and the great outdoors.

“I shot this deer during shotgun season, and my grandparents passed away in September of this year, and I killed that deer with my grandpa’s shotgun, so that’s really cool to me,” Burks said. “He was supposed to be with us on this trip, and he always said he was gonna come watch me get my first big buck, and on the first morning, during the first hour of shotgun season, we came in, and I got to use my grandpa’s gun on my deer, so that was really cool.”

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