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Archive for Sunday, January 6, 2008

High school freshman downs 16-point ‘dream buck’

January 6, 2008

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Jacob Ostermeyer, 15, shows off the deer he shot at a park in December. The deer weighed in at more than 200 pounds.

Jacob Ostermeyer, 15, shows off the deer he shot at a park in December. The deer weighed in at more than 200 pounds.

Jacob Ostermeyer grew tired of waiting for deer on his hunting expedition, so he decided to grab some food.

As the Tonganoxie High School freshman bit into a doughnut, a 16-point, nontypical buck appeared out of nowhere at a park near Osage City.

So much for the doughnut.

"When my dad said, 'Here comes a buck,' I bit the little powdered doughnut," Jacob said. "The other half fell to the ground."

Jacob and his father, Keith Ostermeyer, kept extremely still so the buck wouldn't recognize their presence. Jacob wanted to keep so quiet that he still hadn't swallowed the half of the doughnut that remained in his mouth.

'Buck fever'

Nonetheless, Keith Ostermeyer gave his son an opportunity at hunting glory, around 8:30 a.m. Dec. 2.

"He had me get the gun out and we went down a hill," Jacob recalled. "After I took a shot, I started gagging on this doughnut. My dad got out a Mountain Dew and I drank that down. Then, I started shaking. People call that buck fever."

At first, Jacob didn't know if he fired a successful shot. After all, the buck was about 65 yards away from him. He decided to walk out and look for the remains of his shot.

At first, signs weren't exactly pointing in Jacob's favor. He said his father thought he missed.

"I was pretty confident when I shot him," Jacob said. "But there was no blood, no hair, nothing. I started panicking that I missed, so I went toward where he ran."

The buck ran about 60 yards after Jacob fired. Furthermore, that Sunday presented extremely windy conditions at the park. Small remains that might have led to the buck could have been eliminated by the wind.

Then, he noticed a part of the field that had been recently mowed.

"It didn't take more than 10 steps after that and I found him," he said. "He was down. I went back and got my dad."

One shot, from 65 yards away: Pretty impressive for a 15-year-old, who said he had been hunting for seven years and deer hunting for three years.

"My dad said I shot his dream buck," Jacob said. "Then, my dad happy danced."

The Ostermeyers took the buck to Cabela's in the Village West shopping district in Kansas City, Kan., for a weigh-in. Jacob knew the exact, albeit straightforward and blunt, figures off the top of his head.

"Without guts, it weighed 173 pounds," he said. "With guts, it was estimated at 203."

At the time, Cabela's told Jacob it was the third-largest deer to be brought in from Kansas or Missouri in 2007. Furthermore, it was the largest deer brought in by a youth 16 years of age and under.

"I'm getting it mounted at my uncle's house," Jacob said of his uncle, Brent Noel, who lives in Overland Park. "But I have the antlers at home."

In fact, Noel is in the process of teaching his nephew taxidermy, the art of mounting animals for display. Noel has taught Jacob how to mount turkeys and ducks. Deer are next on the list.

Hunting becomes secondary

Hunting is Jacob's main hobby. He has proven his talent.

Truth be told, hunting is way down on the list of family priorities, though.

What's even more remarkable about his story is the fact that he was diagnosed with glomerulonephritis, an immune-mediated kidney (renal) disease, in 2002.

He had planned to see a specialist for kidney dialysis Friday at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo.

He is waiting to get a kidney transplant. Melissa Ostermeyer, Jacob's mother, said because of the shortage of organ donors, individuals in worse situations than Jacob are given transplants first.

"It's a matter of waiting your turn and unfortunately waiting until a life or death situation," she said. "I knew one lady who lived on dialysis for two or three years. A lot depends on how the body responds to medical treatment."

Once he gets a transplant, Ostermeyer won't be hunting too much.

"Let's just say he won't be lugging a gun and marching around any muddy fields," Melissa Ostermeyer said.

Jacob has had to give up soda pop and has to eat low-sodium and low-phosphorus foods.

"It's going to be hard to keep him down," Melissa Ostermeyer said. "He's looked at me and said, 'I'm not staying down.'"

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