This has been a long time coming! I have been taking my boys hunting since they were about 4 and started letting them hunt under the mentor program when they were 9.
My now 14 year old shot a beautiful 8 point his 3rd time in the stand when he was 9. Because of that success, the next boy has been waiting and waiting and waiting for a buck to match his older brother's.
Three seasons ago he he took what I thought was a great shot on a nice mature 8pt with the xbow. Great blood for a long while and then nothing. I tracked that deer for almost 2 miles and unfortunately we never recovered him.
Since that evening, we have not seen a deer that Giordan, now 12, wanted to shoot. On average, over the last 4 seasons we have sat roughly 30 times. Now, we are limited by hunting locations, a local cull, school work and youth activities, but we try to sneak out as much as possible.
This guy has been very patient, though he started to think he wasn't a good hunter because he hasn't harvested anything yet. I had to talk to him during every sit and tell him that hunting is not all about the harvest! Which isn't easy to understand for a young boy.
This season started out just like the last several...a lot of doe and spikes here in PA. The frustration continued for him and he really started to waiver on his love for hunting.
We had the opportunity to take advantage of an afternoon sit in Maryland during their 3 day muzzleloader season last week. The winds were blowing at 25mph and I wasn't really optimistic about this particular evening, but he isn't gonna shoot a deer sitting at home.
We got into the stand around 2:30 and had to hold on to our hats due the high winds. Around 5:00 I saw the first deer of the night. He was a buck that was roughly 200 yards away. When he turned, I saw that he had 3 points on one side and a 12 inch spike on the other. I asked my son if would shoot that deer if he came within range. His response was, "what do you think I should do?" My answer to that was, "you do what you want to do buddy, I'll support any decision you make."
The buck started to wok his way towards us and we began to get ready for a potential shot. When he was around 150 yards he started bucking like he was being stung by bees and ran into the switch grass on the edge of the cut soy field. I told my son to be ready because he will probably sneak behind us through the hedgerow.
10 minutes later he reappeared in the field, now at 100 yards. I said "there he is, lets take him." He was on my left and the deer was on my right, so I laid the gun across the stand and told him to get into position. The deer was slowly walking and Giordan asked me to stop him...I grunted 3 times and he stopped on a dime.
I said "hit him" and he let one rip from my Thompson .50. I was trying to record it with my phone and watch at the same time, so the video wasn't great. Right when he shot I saw a cloud of dust kick up from the field and I said to my son that I thought he missed him...it looked like a clean miss. He said "please don't say that, lets just wait until we get down and look for blood."
The shot was taken at 6:00 and we stayed in the stand until roughly 7:00. Once we climbed down and walked to the area the deer was standing, we found blood immediately! Giordan was so freaking excited as was I!
He wasn't pumping, but there was blood coming out of both sides. The bullet went straight thru without hitting any bone, which is why I saw the dirt kick up on the shot. We followed decent blood for 40 yards and there he laid, piled up in the switch grass! Double lung and heart shot...he literally died before he hit the ground!
4 seasons, too many sits to count, too many hours to remember, too many dad and son selfies to post, too many son sleeping pictures to post...he finally got it done!
Thanks for reading!