AWESOME opening weekend!!


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AKElroy
November 8, 2013, 08:25 PM
Opening weekend was all about my son. He is 12, and while he has taken a deer each of the last two years, he has never taken a hog. Opening morning, we are sitting in our 8' box blind, seeing a few deer but nothing special. It is a lased 105 yards to the feeder, and my son is using his granddaddy's .270, model 70 win, Leupold 3x9. It is the first time that rifle has been out of my safe in many years, but my son has proven himself a careful steward so he was trusted with it.

5 till 7, we see a small sounder of pigs walk up. My son has taken a few running misses as we've driven up hogs on the property, but he's never been with me when they are at the feeder giving a decent presentation.

Now, my preference would be to take one of the few good deer I've been watching all season on the gamecam, but I can't deprive the kid of his chance at his first pig. I whisper to him to take the biggest sow as soon as she gives him a shot, while I am tracking one of her brood. I told him I would be shooting right after his shot. That .270 and my .308 roared less than a half second apart, and two pigs lay DRT.

I told my son that we would let them lie, and wait for deer to walk up. Sure enough, the largest 8 point I've seen in 6 years on this property walks up, but won't approach the pin with those pigs lying. He never gave me a shot, and stayed hidden in the brush out of my shooting lane. There is a reason the big ones avoid getting shot.

That afternoon, the only deer we see are a poor 8 point, barely 2 years old, and a nice, mature 6 pointer. In our neck of the woods, 150 lbs is about as big as low-fenced property like ours will see. He had no brow tines, and while it is not my practice to take culls opening weekend, this one was too good to pass up. My son and I had switched guns, so he had my weather-warrior .308, and made a perfect boiler room shot on the animal. Unfortunately, even though the 150 gr corlokd was placed perfectly, that animal followed the smaller 8 pointer on a near half mile run through the thick stuff. He left a good trail though, and we found him within an hour or so.

Big deer for our neck of the woods! He can't stop talking about it. The kid shoots better than me. The pig would go an easy 200lbs. Both were gutted, cleaned, and in process.

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AKElroy
November 8, 2013, 08:26 PM
Here's the pig----

AKElroy
November 8, 2013, 08:27 PM
The happy kid once we found that deer---

content
November 8, 2013, 08:42 PM
Nice Buck and Hog....Now, that is a day to remember! What ever the age.

Don't think I've ever seen better shot placement, impressive.
I'm sure the meat provided by your son will bring Big Smiles at the table for months to come, congrats.

AKElroy
November 8, 2013, 08:44 PM
One bizarre thing happened the afternoon my kid took that buck. 5 minutes before he walked up, a bobcat sat just outside the feeder, staring at us. I shot it. We let it lie, as the feeder was set to throw in 5 minutes. Sure enough, the buck my son shot walked up. Since finding him was the biggest concern, we took off after the running, wounded deer, leaving the bobcat on the ground.

When we returned from the woods with the deer in the jeep, the bobcat was gone. The blood where he lay was there, but no bobcat. Either a yote, owl or even hawk must have made off with it. It was solid hit with a .270, and could not have gone 12lbs. He did not walk off on his own. That was disappointing, my first bobcat, and I was looking forward to having it on a table in my office.

AKElroy
November 8, 2013, 08:51 PM
Don't think I've ever seen better shot placement, impressive

He really appreciates the compliment. We really concentrated on his shooting skills before I was comfortable letting him go for it. I was probably overly cautious, but other than the running pigs he's missed, he has yet to miss a stationary animal. He's 4 for 4 so far.

Sure makes daddy proud! Just wish he would go ahead and get enough meet on him to be able to lift, skin & quarter!

content
November 8, 2013, 08:59 PM
Well deserved young man!

:D:D:DI hope you two are still hunting together when he wishes you could lift more.

I'm 51 and still enjoy hunting with my dad, one of the best things in this world.

AKElroy
November 8, 2013, 09:15 PM
Amen to that. My dad is not quite up to it anymore.

MCgunner
November 8, 2013, 09:19 PM
Congrats to you and your son. :D

Fremmer
November 8, 2013, 10:11 PM
Great shooting! Tell him good job, especially tracking that buck.

AKElroy
November 9, 2013, 04:35 PM
His eyes are better than mine, he was finding blood before me, and I've tracked many animals and this was his first. The biggest issue after finding him was getting my samurai in to get him. The brush is really tight, but I finally got to him after a few dozen dead-end attempts. The seasonal creek that runs the property is steeply banked, so getting the Suzuki to it was terrifying and a blast at the same time. I've taking it rough off-roading before, but never have I had it nearly vertical as was necessary to cross both sides of the creek. It made it, though. We did scream in fear a bit when it felt like it was going over. I'm sure the other hunters appreciated that. It was a great experience for both of us.

Dthunter
November 10, 2013, 02:16 PM
Good job guys! A productive hunt!

surjimmy
November 10, 2013, 04:19 PM
Congratulations.

brainwake
November 11, 2013, 10:20 AM
Awesome. I scored some meat during ML season. I am taking my son and nephew out this year for opening weekend. So I sure hope the have some success with them. Congrats to your boy. This is the stuff that shapes character. Good job to you too Dad!

critter
November 11, 2013, 11:20 AM
Making lifetime memories!

LeonCarr
November 11, 2013, 11:26 AM
Great Job!

BP Hunter
November 11, 2013, 02:35 PM
Memories that will last forever! Great shot!

Outlaw Man
November 11, 2013, 02:44 PM
You taught him well. Looks like a great time!

AKElroy
November 30, 2013, 10:43 AM
Update: we were back in the woods this week, battling the ice and seeing some great deer. This property is finally producing some nice bucks after 6 years of year-round protein feeding, and I am frankly not used to seeing anything other than freezer stuffing culls until now, so the big ones still make me quake in my boots.

The kid, on the other hand, is steady as a rock. I've been hunting 35 years, and have never had as steady an aim as my 12 year old.

Sunday, at last light, we were packing up and heading out when my son sees a buck walking up. Until then, we had been watching a familiar little spike, and as we closed half the sliding windows on the blind, he readied to alert. No big deal, he's three years away from getting shot.

Then, my son taps me on the leg and points to the biggest 8 point I've seen on the property. This is a good deer, I'm guessing 120+ inches, 165lbs, 4+ years old. It's about as good as they get on our little low-fenced lease. Since I was mentally done hunting, seeing that deer was a jolt of adrenalin I've not felt in years. Maybe ever. I was shaking, and could not get a decent rhythm with my breathing. It is 105 yards to that deer, and it might as well be 1000.

It is looking straight at me, nervous over that little spike about to bolt. I have no shot. The angle is steeply sloped down to the animal, so I risk taking off his muzzle if I go for the neck. A center chest shot will ruin him, so I wait for him to turn. Not going to happen. 45-60 seconds, he just stares. Ears up, perfectly still. Finally, he turns his head enough to one side to look behind him that I can see a nice expanse of neck. I take the shot, and according to my son, he looked back at me the second that sear broke, so I clean missed him.

He remains, hopefully, unharmed. We looked for nearly 2 hours for any signs of blood, and did not find a single drop. He was flagging and bounding in a way that suggests I simply missed. I eventually found a snapped wire in the panel he was standing in front of, with the metal shiny and clearly just broken. No way it was a through and through with zero blood on that panel, so at least I am confident he is still out there.

Moral? I should have let my kid take the shot! That was sure a nice buck.

351 WINCHESTER
November 30, 2013, 08:43 PM
Nice story. Enjoy your son while he is young. I took both my boys hunting and fishing when they were young, but now one is so busy with work and his new home and the other with his girlfriend that poor old Dad has to hunt by himself, which ain't no fun.

AKElroy
December 2, 2013, 12:06 AM
I've seen a lot of posts praising me for taking my son on these hunts. I appreciate the thought, but the truth is pretty simple. I have no friends or family my age that I am remotely interested in sharing a 30' trailer with, and being alone is great for maybe two days, tops.

I love the kid. I also hate being alone. This is not some mission to train him, or to grow him into a man, although I am sure there is some of that. I just like being with him.

My dad did not take me hunting until I was 13. My grandfather on my mothers side taught me how to shoot, how to hunt, gun safety, how to skin a rabbit, how to take care to prevent needless suffering. In a way, hunting with my son brings all those cherished memories of my childhood with my dad and my grandfather back to life. It is more selfish than selfless.

It is also really cool to live vicariously through my kid as I let him take shots that my dad never allowed me to take when I was his age.

brainwake
December 2, 2013, 02:33 PM
My kids want to hunt with their grand father and not me LOL. Just because we haven't seen anything in the 3 hunts, they are convinced that the grand dad (in-law) is a better hunter.....truth be told...he is....it's his land and he has been taking deer for 50+ years. Heck I have learned what I know from him....so I guess I can't blame them. Funny enough, we both scored this last weekend on the same morning. I sure would like for them to take their first one with me though.

Arkansas Paul
December 2, 2013, 05:00 PM
That's awesome man.
Nice buck. Hard to believe a nicely developed rack like that didn't have eyeguards. He should have been an 8 pointer.
Nice big hog too. Great day.

And a small framed kid handling a .270 like a champ. Gotta love that.

CarJunkieLS1
December 2, 2013, 05:18 PM
That's a great story and glad to see you and your son making memories that will last a lifetime.

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