The last morning of rifle found us in a familiar stand, but one we hadn't hunted this season. Another MY shot a 7pt from this same stand a week prior. As light came my 11 year old Drake wanted a cup of coffee so I poured one and held the cup while he put the thermos back in the pack. Before he was through with that I said: there's a deer! He didn't believe me....I do pull his chain a lot so I get where he was coming from. But, there indeed was a deer. This deer was just milling around in the new clearcut to our right about 130 yards away. I immediately saw it was a buck...a small basket rack. He was making circles, not feeding, just milling around in circles....I think he was looking to bed down there. He gets the rifle rested on the shooting rail and is watching him in the scope. As we're waiting for a clear shot I glance down and see a huge deer standing broadside just 30 yards away, wide open! He saw him the same time I did (I have no idea where he came from or how we missed him coming!). He shifted the rifle to the right and down and fired! The big buck just trotted in a circle away and to our left. I told him to reload as the buck stopped and just stood still. He reloaded and fired again! Then he trots again about 20 yards angling away to the left. He reloaded without hesitation this time and when the buck stopped he fired a third shot. The buck took a few steps and fell over sideways! I finished his coffee during this process and poured him another! We waited until he finished it and climbed down. Due to the trees and our different angles I never saw him fall, but Drake did. We climbed down and went to the first shot and could see him laying stone dead across the empty cut. No blood or visible hair at the first shot, no blood or hair at the second shot, blood a the last shot and deer just feet away. I thought he missed him twice. After the autopsy he certainly hit him the first time.....through the liver/diaphragm. I'm not sure which of the two subsequent shots hit home as they were both at about the same quartering away angle. Neither bullet exited but both were found just under the off-side hide. This makes a bunch of firsts: his first buck, his first deer in the snow, the first deer for a new rifle I won this year, the first time he didn't cut himself gutting a deer and the first killed the last day of rifle for our family! Deer like this didn't exist when most of us were shooting our first bucks!
I'm super proud of him for his patience and dedication this season. He did also kill a little doe in the youth rifle season this fall and in 2017 year filled my DMAP tag on a 100lbs button buck first day of rifle.
Ruger American Predator 6.5 Creedmoor topped with a fixed 6X Weaver Classic shooting 129gr Hornady American Whitetail ammo
Heavy 9pt, 15-1/4" inside, 9" g2's, 160lbs hanging....no fat on this buck whatsoever! He's at the taxidermist now...my wallet is $500 lighter and I don't even care!