As I did last year, I set out today with my daughter Megan in tow. She had her new-to-her 7mmWSM Model 70, lefty for her left dominant eye, and I had my M70 Extreme Weather in 300WSM. We went to the same stand where we started the season last year, and where I shot a decent buck on the opener last season.
We saw two does a little before 8 come loping over a hill from the neighboring property, tails down. I got my rifle up and told Megan to do the same. We laid them on the shooting rail just to be prepared. About 5 minutes later, sure enough, there's a deer cresting the hill. It turned out to be a frisky little spiker with spikes about 6-7" long. Clearly not legal game for me, but fair game for Megan. He came right in, and gave her several standing broadside shot opportunities at 100-120 yards.
She asked me, "If I shoot him, is my hunting over?" I answered that it was, as she'd used her doe tag in October, and she had a buck tag remaining.
She said she didn't want to end her season so soon, and not on a barely-legal buck. I asked her several times, "Are you sure?" She was. I was pretty proud of her.
A half hour to 45 minutes later, the does came flying back out from where they left the field and back from whence they came. No buck behind them, however.
The temps weren't rising, the wind came and went, and we were both getting cold.
A few times, I asked her if she wanted to take a walk to another stand to warm up, or go back to the truck for a while to warm up. She always said she wanted to stay.
At about 10:45, she and I were sharing some Pringles and I was watching into the woods on our left while she looked ahead into the field. I heard her say "Uhhhhhhh.....Daddy....?" That's usually her whiny start on something bothering her, so before even looking, I started asking "What's the ma......". As I turned to the right, I saw 4 or 5 does walking 60-ish yards out in the field, paralleling the edge we were sitting on. Then behind them was a buck. Dang....that happened fast. I actually had a Pringle in my hand and it got tossed. The can of Pringles got wedged against my leg. I got my rifle and she got hers.
The deer were past us, heading to the corner we were watching out about 125 yards. I figured they were going to head into the brush. They got a little better than halfway there and turned around and came straight at us. I can't explain why, but they did. Not alarmed, curious, or in anyway alerted to our existence. I had to tell her to wait as the buck was mixed in the does and no clear shot was available. At about 60-70 yards, he was pointed straight at us. I didn't have her shoot. He took a couple steps and gave her a quartering forward shot. I said, "You ready?" Immediate "YES!" from her.
"OK, shoot him just in front of the edge of his shoulder."
The buck turned toward us.... "Megan, wait."
The buck turned back how he was. "Shoot him." BANG!
The deer all took off and the buck was dragging the leg on the side she hit him and was staggering badly, but he was going. I shot at him with the 300 when the does cleared him, but I missed. He stumbled and then got going again. As he entered a dip in the terrain, he fell in a pile where we couldn't see him.
Here's Megan with her deer:
He's a nice 6pt, and she is thrilled. I am too!
Here's a picture of her and I with her deer:
That's two mounts this year (her buck and my mule deer buck). This is getting costly!
Very proud of her...she held off on a buck and a shot she wasn't sure of, and was rewarded with a better shot on a bigger buck. She stuck it out through the chilly weather when she was starting to want to go in. She made a great shot to cap it off, too.
This kid's turning into one heck of a hunter before my very eyes.
She hit him dead on exactly where I wanted her to, and when I dressed the deer, his heart flopped open like a book. If she'd hit him a half inch higher, the heart would have been in two pieces.
She was shooting a 120gr Nosler Ballistic Tip at 2350-2400fps at the muzzle. It seems to be quite deadly.