HOME, INDIANA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – For any hunter, getting their first buck is an experience they’ll always remember.
For 11-year-old Lucas McCormick, bagging his buck was not only memorable, but also a moment that is now spreading joy to people around the world.
“He’s amazed by the views,” Kayla McCormick, Lucas’s mom said.
Lucas, who has cerebral palsy, was excited to get the buck during the first week of deer season. His mom posted pictures of him with it on a Facebook page called PA Trophy Takers. The post also showed how Lucas’ father built a system he could use to shoot the buck all on his own.
The post is reaching more people than the family could have imagined.
Kayla McCormick said she kept being told, ‘You have this many views,’ and I was like, ‘What?'” She added, “Then I had people texting me, calling me, and emailing me.”
Lucas, who has an infectious smile that can brighten someone’s day, was born at 26 weeks. He was just 1 pound, 14 ounces.
“They didn’t think anything until like two days before I left the NICU,” said his mother. “They saw shading on the brain, but they couldn’t diagnose him with cerebral palsy until he was 1 year old.”
Cerebral palsy is a motor disability that affects one’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture, and it’s typically caused by brain damage before or at birth.
For Lucas, it has been a tough journey.
“It’s amazing what he goes through, and he smiles through everything,” his mom said.
The smile starts with his family, who makes sure nothing stands in the way of his dreams.
“He does everything,” said Daniel McCormick, Lucas’ dad.
An avid hunter, Daniel McCormick engineered a system so his 11-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, could have the freedom to hunt by himself.
“He does that with a button,” Daniel McCormick said, demonstrating. “He just pushes it and it sends power to it, and he pulls the trigger.”
Lucas is now able to not only shoot the gun himself but also see the deer on a screen attached to the device.
“Before, we were just like, ‘Hey, there’s a deer coming. Pull the string,'” Kayla McCormick explained. “And it’s like now he can see it. He can get the excitement of being able to see the deer and shoot it.”
It’s all because of the determination of his father that Lucas got that first buck that brought on his smile.
“I even had a veteran say he has really down days and just seeing his smile made his day,” his mom said. “It’s amazing.”
The original post has gotten tens of thousands of shares and counting.
People have also reached out to offer to take Lucas hunting in places such as Missouri and Maine, his mom said.
Right now, Lucas is getting his buck mounted by Swarthout’s Skull Works in Roaring Branch, Tioga County, who offered to do the work for free.
The sixth-grader also said his dream is to become a YouTuber who, with his brother, would upload videos of themselves playing video games.