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A child becomes a hunter

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by H&Hhunter, Jun 3, 2013.

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  1. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Last season deer,
    We hunted down in southeastern Co just about 1 mile from the Kansas border. There is very limited public access in this unit and we were hunting small chunks of walk in access and a couple of SWA areas. There is however an abundance of deer that cross these areas and with a little luck you can get yourself a shot at a legal deer.

    We'd hunted for several days and had missed an opportunity at a fairly large mule deer several days before. Mostly due to my poor guiding, well truth be known totally due to my poor guiding. I had spotted a herd of mule deer and looked them over seeing nothing but does and several immature bucks. I asked my daughter if she was interested in making a stalk for practice and to have a better look at the herd. She eagerly agreed and we made a masterful stalk into about 80 yards to the closest deer in the herd. My daughter was just behind and to my right and we were enjoying watching the deer mulling around and browsing. I wasn't really paying attention not taking the hunting serious like I usually do when I am in taking the kids out hunting mode and not in my usual full alert guiding or hunting mode, when all of a sudden to our left about 100 yards away I spot some antler tips, big pearl tipped gnarly heavy duty antler tips, sticking up out of the grass the grey face below those tips is alert and looking at us. I instantly realize that I have just made a BIG MISTAKE we are BUSTED and that is one serious hunk of mule deer buck watching us.

    My girl is about ten feet off to my right and slightly behind me watching the main herd mill about. I'm desperately trying to get her attention when all at once we get busted by the main herd and they come to full alert, the mature buck stands up, he's a full grown trophy mule deer, good mass excellent length and width, a 185"+ class buck. He is staring right at us and I'm trying to get my daughter into a position to take a shot. I've got her attention now and she is belly crawling trying to get clear for the shot when all heck breaks loose and the deer start to blow out. She gets on the buck who is stiff legged trotting now but not quite into full blow out mode. Just as she is getting ready to take a shot on the big boy, he joins up with a does. She holds her fire as she doesn't want to risk a moving shot in a herd. This quickly becomes a story of the big one that got away. My daughter nick names the big buck "Gynormico" as we watch him bound away and out of our lives forever.

    As we are walking back to the truck my daughter angrily mentions that "maybe I should take deer hunting with her a bit more serious, like you do when hunting with real people!" She is visibly upset. I realize at this moment that this child has grown into a serious and dedicated hunter and that this stuff is actually very important to her. I am proud to be her dad and am proud of the time we've spent together in the field hunting throughout the years from when she was a little baby until now, she's become an independent strong young woman and this stuff means a lot to her. I meekly apologize to her and make a silent promise to myself to do a better job of hunting with my kids from now on. these girls are no longer just out with dad to be with dad, they have become hunters!

    We spend the next three days in vain searching for Gynormico but he is gone and we never see him or his herd of girls again. This was without a doubt the most painful screw up of my hunting career. I had a world class deer in easy shooting range on crappy public land a one in a million situation and I let a my inattention and lack of focus get the best of me and I let my daughter down until this moment I hadn't taken my girls interest in hunting serious, it was a wakeup call for me, my children are growing up. But it is what it is and what happened, happened so we decided to move on and concentrate on other deer.
    We hunted hard and passed up a couple of smaller bucks and finally we got down to the last afternoon of the hunt. We had put in a great sneak to a spot where the deer had been coming out every afternoon but we hadn't been able to get on them. So we went out early in the afternoon and got into position well before the time when the deer had been coming out. We sat silently for several hours and just as the sun was starting to go down we were rewarded with three buck that came bounding out of the brush line into the open.

    I looked them over and none were big bucks but all three were legal. I told my daughter that she was welcome to take anyone of them or she could pass her choice. She thought about it for awhile and decided that she'd like to take a buck as it was our last night and we could use the meat. I ranged the closest one at 205 yards. And watched as my hunter calmly slid the safety forward sucked in a breath and let it half way out. I transitioned my eyes to the buck and watched as she sent a 165 gr Sierra into his boiler room. The buck jumped into the air and in typical whitetail fashion bolted into the thick brush and disappeared. I asked her how she felt about her shot. She just smiled and gave me thumbs up. She knew as well as I did that her little purple zebra stripped custom .308 had scored again. The blood trail was heavy and easy to follow for about 50 yards where we found the buck dead. We had enough light to drag him out and get some pictures and were happy to see mom and little sis headed our way. They had heard the shot and had left their hunting spot to come over and give us a hand.

    How'd your shot go? A look of total confidence...
    DSC03684_zpsa5b7ede5.jpg

    A young lady hunter.
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    The whole family was there to share in the joy. Little sis is a bit jealous I can tell.
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    Here she is after our first deer hunt together ten years prior when she was six years old.
    torisdeer2croped.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2013
  2. CoRoMo

    CoRoMo Member

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    You are a blessed man.
     
  3. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    CoRoMo,

    I agree..Thank you!
     
  4. ldlfh7

    ldlfh7 Member

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    That is a great story. My wife and I are having a baby girl this week and I hope she can join me on hunts and work her way to being a hunter as your daughter did.
     
  5. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    First off congratulations..

    My advice with small kids and hunting is make sure and make it fun! Our typical hunting trip when the girls were small was about 95% outdoor fun and maybe 5% hunting.

    As they get older the ratios change as in my case now the girls are running herd on dad. I am the one needing to straighten up and fly right now days!!:)
     
  6. critter

    critter Member

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    That must have been a really great experience.

    Your telling of it was superb!
     
  7. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Thanks critter.
     
  8. wankerjake

    wankerjake Member

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    That's great, you should be proud! I always enjoy the stories and pics, H&H.
     
  9. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Yet another great story, bro...
     
  10. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    I consider myself lucky that you let me hunt with you. You and your family are truly awesome.
     
  11. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Great story! I'm jealous too. I hope to get a chance to go hunting at least once before I die.
     
  12. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Robert,

    I consider myself lucky to have a friend like you who wants to hunt with me.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2013
  13. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Anytime, anywhere, any game my friend.
     
  14. wolf695

    wolf695 Member

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    A good story! WAY TO GO!
     
  15. Lordy123

    Lordy123 Member

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    Great story! And that's still a pretty nice buck!
     
  16. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    That is a great looking rifle...Ted Nugent would be proud :).

    Just my .02,
    LeonCarr
     
  17. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    The kid wanted pink and purple and black elk skull cammo motif on that stock. I had one local "artist" give it a shot and completely mess it up. So I spent the next two weeks stripping and re sanding and then painting that stock myself.

    I shot it with flat black as a base then tapped out the zebra stripes and shot it with an automotive flat purple (lavender, whatever that color is exactly.). I then sealed it with a flat lacquer for a finish. The kiddo loves it and she never mentioned the cammo elk skulls again so I guess it was good enough.:)

    One of my favorite things to do with that rifle is when we have young boys hunting with us. I always make a big point of explaining to the boys how they are going to have to use the "special" rifle on the hunt as by regulation there are only several rifles that are allowed to be used in "this" area. I then inform them that after they make a kill they'll have their trophy picture taken with the rifle and it will published on the internet and in their local newspaper. Once they get all jazzed up about becoming a local hunting hero I pull that purple/pink rifle out it's slip and inform them that this is the gun they have to hunt with.

    When the boys see that rifle they invariably look like they've just seen a ghost and been gut punched all at the same time!!:D:D
     
  18. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    That is awesome.
     
  19. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    I have but one daughter and like me she was in the woods from the beginning. As a family we all hunted, and one of us would take a turn with the little one. As she grew she of course wanted to do as we did, and at age 6 we were working on her shooting skills with a second hand .243.

    She was good enough to hit bulls at 100yds and we had plenty of does within her range but nothing with horns. Our area had limited doe permits however. It wasn't until she was 9 that we finally managed a permit, and were able to get REALLY serious. When the time came it was overcast and drizzling, we opted to sit in my Ramcharger to keep out of the weather, with 20 degree temps outside, in a 15 - 25 mph wind with ice and snow on the ground. It was just one of those miserable days when the air cut right through you. I had been out a day or so ahead of time and watched a small buck cross our back pasture at the same time each day and was hoping for him to repeat it.

    Well sure enough he did and instead of her grabbing her rifle to make the shot, she wanted to use my 25-06 which she had never shot before. She knew however it was a laser and insisted she "needed" it. I didn't argue and we got it up and out the window, Like your daughter she squared up on him and within a heartbeat, he was plowing dirt. We were both ecstatic, and jumping up and down in the seats.

    That was 20 plus years ago and I can still remember it like it was last week. You my friend will have it to remind you for years to come as well. I know have three grandsons ranging in age from 5 thru 11. I was with the oldest when he got it in his head he wanted to shoot himself a hog when he was only 3. Never underestimate the tenacity of a red headed boy. We made reduced loads and he practiced with them all spring and summer until he was shooting out to 100yds from field positions using a bi-pod. When the time came he put a 125gr BT right through the boiler of an 80'ish pound hog and dumped it on the spot.

    This is what you have to look forward to. I still have the younger ones to work on myself but there is nothing like it.

    Thanks for sharing, and congrats to both you and yours.
     
  20. Texaszach

    Texaszach Member

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    Story really hits home H&h. Great story and advice for a young dad like me.

    Love hearing your stories as well 41 mag, you've given me sound advice as well.

    This will be the first year to take my 4 year old daughter hunting this season, and before I know it her baby sister will be out there as well.

    I can't wait to just get out in the woods with the little one and show her what hunting is about.

    I had always hoped for a boy, but you guys really show they can hunt with the best of em!!
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator

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    Texaszach,

    You'll love every minute of it.
     
  22. 41 Mag

    41 Mag Member

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    Best advice I can give you....

    Texaszach,

    When you get the little ones out, it isn't about hunting anymore, it is about the experience. You have to figure on getting out a bit later at times, leaving when things are just perfect, and being still just doesn't seem to be in the equation for a kid under around 10.

    Figure on playing with bugs, talking about birds and squirrels, and picking this or that flower along the way. After you get them interested, and get something on the ground then it starts to come together for them. Up till then the old adage "patients is a virtue", has never had so much meaning. :D

    While my daughter had been out with everyone, it wasn't until she got her first deer that she REALLY understood what it was all about. Even after, I still had to keep on her about moving her hands, turning her head instead of her eyes, the little things ya know. Those things come with time, and I still get busted every year from some keen eyed doe. That is what makes it fun though, and gets the blood pumping.

    The daughter hunts out on the family farm almost exclusively now. Her and the grandsons do sit in brush blinds, but more often than not choose to simply sit out on the hill side, along a fence, or up against some yaupon to break up their forms. I cannot argue with the results as they both continue to put some quality deer on the ground for our area.

    Still in all it has to start somewhere and to those who feel that the kids are too young, well I feel that is simply an excuse rather than a reality. Like I said ours have been out since diaper days, it wasn't always fun or productive, but it all usually works out in the long run. Keep the serious hunting for the coldest, rainy days, and use the pretty (usually best) ones for the kids.;)
     
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