The Way I See It – The kid went and done it; it wasn’t big but she got her first buck on opening weekend
Four days of hunting and just one small buck, that is not what I’m used to having happen when I go hunting. With all the hunting trips I’ve gone on, I have rarely had to go out more than one weekend to get a good-sized doe or buck and most were shot at 100 yards or less.
This year’s hunting odyssey actually began more than a year ago when my wife Joy decided she wanted to get her own deer and went a bought herself a .243 for the task. Many trips to the rifle range during the next year plus got her to be fairly proficient at target shooting out to 100 yards and ready for her first hunt.
This past spring my 10-year old daughter Eve came home and announced she wanted to go hunting this fall. She passed hunter safety course and she found a nice .223 for her first hunting rifle so mom got it for her. Many trips to the range with mom and Eve also became pretty proficient out to 100-yards and capable out to 200 yards.
Then came Thursday and the youth hunting days. Off we went, just me and Eve, on Thursday and Friday. Right away in the morning we saw a group of does about 75 yards away but Eve was uncertain as she really wanted a buck. A few minutes later we spotted a group of eight does, then a couple more not long after that. Eve’s interest in bucks began to slip a bit with all the does she was seeing.
Then she saw him! As we drove down into a coulee – a 5-point muley buck was standing right there!
We scrambled out of the pick-up but before she could get a shot off he disappeared around a bend. With that we were off walking the first of many coulees in chase of that buck. After a good mile plus of walking we saw nothing so we headed back to the truck.
After walking another couleee and then through a brush filled bottom and only seeing a few does at long range, we went home to relax for a few hours before heading out for a late afternoon/evening hunt. Again we walked a coulee and saw a few does at long distance and headed for home as night fell.
Friday Eve was determined to take the first good shot she could get. This time we stayed out all day and hiked through many a coulee and bottom area. We saw a lot of deer, almost all does, but all either on the dead run away from us or out of range. About 5 pm Eve got her first chance. A nice doe at about 175 yards standing broadside.
She kneeled down to take the shot and put her knee right in a cactus! Undaunted, she pulled out the cactus spines, moved over and took the shot.
But the doe went a couple of hundred yards and disappeared behind a bush. We walked that direction to see if she laid down or headed out and we lost her. As we walked through the tall grass, up she jumped about 10-feet away.
Eve was so surprised she never even tried to get the rifle off her shoulder before the deer was gone for good at a dead run. We both laughed our way back to the pick-up to end the second day.
Day three we had Joy with us and we saw several does early but all were at questionable range. Eve want to take a shot but I said no. We went home in the early afternoon.
The fourth day we again saw several on a hillside and a couple on a dead run. Then two came at an easy hop across a field at us and we bailed out of the pick-up. Before we were ready they were already up a draw a good distance away. Then they stopped Eve wanted to take a shot and I told her to go ahead. They bounced a few steps and walked a ways while another member of our group, Acadia’s boyfriend Gage, began reading off distances from his range finder. 350 yards, 375 yards, 385 yards – CRACK! Eve took the shot at the trailing deer and dropped him! The range was 393 yards!
He proved to be a bit smaller than we thought; an antlerless buck.
While she didn’t get the big buck she wanted, Eve was happy to get a deer; and it was buck, after all. Her first ever hunt proved to her that hunting can be a lot of work, combined with excitement, disappointment, and even some pain (kneeling on a cactus hurts). But the whole experience was fun.
Seeing a pair of whitetails heading across a field with those big white tails flying was beautiful, Eve said; so were the sunrises. Seeing owls and hawks in the trees and wild rabbits in the coulees was pretty cool. Kicking up huns and pheasants and having a doe jump up a few feet away and startling her was fun.
Hitting her deer at a distance her dad has never even tried to shoot at – that was the icing on the cake. As Eve said right after taking the shot, “See, I can do it dad!”
Yes my dear, obviously you can.
Next weekend it is mom’s turn!Posted: by OverlieP