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#13212949 - 10/17/18 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt  
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JackAZ Offline
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JackAZ  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2015
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My 11 year old daughter had her first cow elk hunt this past weekend on the Mogollon Rim of Arizona. She and I spent some time getting to know the unit a little better this summer. We even put out her first trail camera and got a few pics of some elk and a nice black bear. Two weeks before the hunt I spent an evening driving around with krp looking at some areas where he had some past success.

I went into week of the hunt with what I thought was a solid Plan A and Plan B, but a couple days before the opener a buddy called to tell me that he had seen quite a few elk in another part of the unit during his fall turkey hunt the weekend before. His intel was enticing enough to make me change my mind, and we decided to spend the opening day on that side of the unit.

My father in law and I had her on a herd of elk within minutes of shooting light. She had a broadside cow in her scope at about 100 yards for about 30 seconds, but it kept a brushy tree over its vitals the whole time. It didn't move until it decided to run and take the rest of the herd with it. Throughout that morning we encountered several small herds, but nothing held still long enough for a 70 pound kid to get comfortable for a shot. If a competent adult had the tag, the hunt would have been over 5 or 6 times that morning.

By late afternoon she was really tired. She is 10 months removed from cancer treatment, and the doctor's primary warning has been to not let her get too fatigued, so I decided that we would try some spot and stalk from a two tracker for the last hour or so of light. We headed over to near where she nearly got a shot that morning, and as I got our gear situated and talked to her a little bit my father in law slowly raised his hand and pointed out into the trees. "I think that's an elk right there?" Sure enough, a lone cow was standing there staring at us. 90 yards away. We had been there for several minutes without making any attempt to be particularly stealthy, yet there she was.

I quickly got my girl's rifle ready and mounted on the tripod at a height where she could take a standing shot. She slipped in behind the stock and settled in for the shot. After what felt like an eternity she still hadn't pulled the trigger and the cow turned quarting towards us a bit hard. She was just about to pull the trigger when that happened, and in frustration she turned to me to ask what to do now. I told her to imagine where the opposite lung would be and shoot along that line. She put the bullet just in front of the near shoulder and it passed through and destroyed the off-side lung. The cow reared up and came down hard. She never took another step.

[Linked Image]

This was her third big game animal in the past year. The first was a doe mule deer, and it was on our way home from that hunt that she got really sick for the first time. That was also a 90 yard shot with no tracking. The second was a javelina that she tagged two weeks after getting out of the hospital. That was another shot opportunity that she was blessed have within a very short and level walk of a good road. It was also a one shot DRT harvest. She's very calm and collected when it comes time to pull the trigger.

She really enjoys being out there with me and gets excited about the hunt when we are there. Unfortunately, there are kids at school who have found out about her hunting and give her a really hard time. It has made her very self-conscious, to the point where she has questioned how long she will continue to go. My wife and I have let her know that we will support her in whatever she decides to do, but we also work pretty hard to counter the negative peer pressure she's been getting. She knows the kids are wrong, and that regulated hunting is a net positive for the environment and for our family, she just needs the self-confidence to stand up for herself.

One thing that I have found helps her get into the hunt is working on the handloads with me. This was the first time she was going to be hunting with anything other than her 223, so I wanted to make sure she had a load that would not beat her up too much. After looking for information on reduced 7mm08 loads I found some information posted by Seafire and sent him a private message. He gave me some ideas on a starting point, and I ended up loading a 139gr Interlock with a MV of 2440 fps. My girl helped me prep the brass and then seated all of the rounds. I had one piece of nickle plated brass, so she decided that would be her lucky bullet...and it was. I was able to recover the bullet. This is what it looked like. I estimate the impact velocity was about 2300 fps, and according to my scale it retained 119gr of weight.

[Linked Image]


The next morning I let my girl and father in law sleep in and went out with my buddy who had been hunting near us the first day with his two daughters, but who had not had any shot opportunities. The forecast called for heavy rain, but the morning started with great conditions, so we struck out to try my original plans A and B. All was going according to plan in the first spot, until we came upon a gut pile from the night before. No matter, I figured that since the elk move through the area both morning and night that perhaps we would find a morning herd that hadn't been buggered up yet. 250 yards further down the ridge we hit another gut pile from the morning before. We decided to try for plan B before the morning got completely away from us.

Plan B didn't turn out any better. There were camps where I had not anticipated anyone would be camping, and evidence that there had been a lot of people who had the same ideas as me. As the storm clouds started to appear on the horizon we decided to head back to camp and get it all put away before it got wet. All three girls have deer and javelina tags after Thanksgiving, so we are hopeful to get the other two some opportunities.

On the whole, I was really pleased with how it worked out for my girl. A big thanks to Seafire for his guidance, and to krp for the logistical support. He let us share his camp and, most importantly, provided a real toilet for the girls to use. Kent was there when I killed my first elk...and nearly my second...and then again when I actually did get my second. He also taught me how reload. His mentorship has been invaluable, and I am really blessed to know him.




Last edited by JackAZ; 10/17/18.
300 BP

#13212966 - 10/17/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,979
6MMWASP Offline
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6MMWASP  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 3,979
Montana
Congrats to the young lady, Continued health!

#13213201 - 10/17/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Apr 2017
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44mc Offline
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44mc  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2017
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north east fla
good deal I hope for her the best of health

#13213234 - 10/17/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 313
wyowinchester Offline
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wyowinchester  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 313
Congratulations!!
HUNT WITH YOUR KIDS
NOT FOR THEM

#13213567 - 10/17/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 19,979
CrimsonTide Online content
Campfire Kahuna
CrimsonTide  Online Content
Campfire Kahuna

Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 19,979
Kentucky
Congratulations to the young lady and her Dad. Glad to hear that she was able to seal the deal on the cow elk.


"The number one problem with America is, a whole lot of people need shot, and nobody is shooting them."
-Master Chief Hershel Davis

Alpha

#13213961 - 10/18/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 16,895
DocRocket Online content
Campfire Kahuna
DocRocket  Online Content
Campfire Kahuna

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 16,895
Gone To Texas
Great story and pics, thanks for sharing it with us! Congratulations to your daughter, as well!

It’s a shame that kids at school are shaming her for hunting, though. That sort of bullying needs to be addressed, but I won’t spoil this thread with that digression.


"I'm gonna have to science the schit out of this." Mark Watney, Sol 59, Mars
#13214660 - 10/18/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 7,766
THOMASMAGNUM Offline
Campfire Outfitter
THOMASMAGNUM  Offline
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Joined: May 2007
Posts: 7,766
Arizona
Good stuff, and congratulations to the young lady!
KRP is a one of the best guys I know.

#13214722 - 10/18/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,556
ol_mike Offline
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ol_mike  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
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Florida panhandle
Heart warming story , thanks .


~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~

#WALK AWAY - say it to liberals .
#13215954 - 10/18/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 3,040
LouisB Offline
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LouisB  Offline
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Posts: 3,040
TN
Congratulations to all participants.

Occasionally remind the young lady that you are eating healthy "free range meat" and thank her for providing it.
Free range cause it is, and to use to counter the antis at school.


Some spelling errors can be corrected by a vowel movement.
~ MOLON LABE ~
#13216174 - 10/19/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 426
killerv Online content
Campfire Regular
killerv  Online Content
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Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 426
Middle Ga
Congrats!

Bravo

#13224901 - 10/22/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,228
colodog Offline
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colodog  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,228
North of Denver
Congratulations young lady hunter!
Hunters are the only tool the Conservation Officers have to manage herd numbers, Thanks for being part of the solution!


"Camping places fix themselves in your mind as if you had spent long periods of your life in them.
You will remember a curve of your wagon track in the grass of the plain, like the features of a friend."
Isak Dinesen
#13227862 - 10/24/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 18,830
JSTUART Offline
Campfire Kahuna
JSTUART  Offline
Campfire Kahuna

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 18,830
Land of milk and honey...for s...
Originally Posted by JackAZ
My 11 year old daughter had her first cow elk hunt this past weekend on the Mogollon Rim of Arizona. She and I spent some time getting to know the unit a little better this summer. We even put out her first trail camera and got a few pics of some elk and a nice black bear. Two weeks before the hunt I spent an evening driving around with krp looking at some areas where he had some past success.

I went into week of the hunt with what I thought was a solid Plan A and Plan B, but a couple days before the opener a buddy called to tell me that he had seen quite a few elk in another part of the unit during his fall turkey hunt the weekend before. His intel was enticing enough to make me change my mind, and we decided to spend the opening day on that side of the unit.

My father in law and I had her on a herd of elk within minutes of shooting light. She had a broadside cow in her scope at about 100 yards for about 30 seconds, but it kept a brushy tree over its vitals the whole time. It didn't move until it decided to run and take the rest of the herd with it. Throughout that morning we encountered several small herds, but nothing held still long enough for a 70 pound kid to get comfortable for a shot. If a competent adult had the tag, the hunt would have been over 5 or 6 times that morning.

By late afternoon she was really tired. She is 10 months removed from cancer treatment, and the doctor's primary warning has been to not let her get too fatigued, so I decided that we would try some spot and stalk from a two tracker for the last hour or so of light. We headed over to near where she nearly got a shot that morning, and as I got our gear situated and talked to her a little bit my father in law slowly raised his hand and pointed out into the trees. "I think that's an elk right there?" Sure enough, a lone cow was standing there staring at us. 90 yards away. We had been there for several minutes without making any attempt to be particularly stealthy, yet there she was.

I quickly got my girl's rifle ready and mounted on the tripod at a height where she could take a standing shot. She slipped in behind the stock and settled in for the shot. After what felt like an eternity she still hadn't pulled the trigger and the cow turned quarting towards us a bit hard. She was just about to pull the trigger when that happened, and in frustration she turned to me to ask what to do now. I told her to imagine where the opposite lung would be and shoot along that line. She put the bullet just in front of the near shoulder and it passed through and destroyed the off-side lung. The cow reared up and came down hard. She never took another step.

[Linked Image]

This was her third big game animal in the past year. The first was a doe mule deer, and it was on our way home from that hunt that she got really sick for the first time. That was also a 90 yard shot with no tracking. The second was a javelina that she tagged two weeks after getting out of the hospital. That was another shot opportunity that she was blessed have within a very short and level walk of a good road. It was also a one shot DRT harvest. She's very calm and collected when it comes time to pull the trigger.

She really enjoys being out there with me and gets excited about the hunt when we are there. Unfortunately, there are kids at school who have found out about her hunting and give her a really hard time. It has made her very self-conscious, to the point where she has questioned how long she will continue to go. My wife and I have let her know that we will support her in whatever she decides to do, but we also work pretty hard to counter the negative peer pressure she's been getting. She knows the kids are wrong, and that regulated hunting is a net positive for the environment and for our family, she just needs the self-confidence to stand up for herself.

One thing that I have found helps her get into the hunt is working on the handloads with me. This was the first time she was going to be hunting with anything other than her 223, so I wanted to make sure she had a load that would not beat her up too much. After looking for information on reduced 7mm08 loads I found some information posted by Seafire and sent him a private message. He gave me some ideas on a starting point, and I ended up loading a 139gr Interlock with a MV of 2440 fps. My girl helped me prep the brass and then seated all of the rounds. I had one piece of nickle plated brass, so she decided that would be her lucky bullet...and it was. I was able to recover the bullet. This is what it looked like. I estimate the impact velocity was about 2300 fps, and according to my scale it retained 119gr of weight.

[Linked Image]


The next morning I let my girl and father in law sleep in and went out with my buddy who had been hunting near us the first day with his two daughters, but who had not had any shot opportunities. The forecast called for heavy rain, but the morning started with great conditions, so we struck out to try my original plans A and B. All was going according to plan in the first spot, until we came upon a gut pile from the night before. No matter, I figured that since the elk move through the area both morning and night that perhaps we would find a morning herd that hadn't been buggered up yet. 250 yards further down the ridge we hit another gut pile from the morning before. We decided to try for plan B before the morning got completely away from us.

Plan B didn't turn out any better. There were camps where I had not anticipated anyone would be camping, and evidence that there had been a lot of people who had the same ideas as me. As the storm clouds started to appear on the horizon we decided to head back to camp and get it all put away before it got wet. All three girls have deer and javelina tags after Thanksgiving, so we are hopeful to get the other two some opportunities.

On the whole, I was really pleased with how it worked out for my girl. A big thanks to Seafire for his guidance, and to krp for the logistical support. He let us share his camp and, most importantly, provided a real toilet for the girls to use. Kent was there when I killed my first elk...and nearly my second...and then again when I actually did get my second. He also taught me how reload. His mentorship has been invaluable, and I am really blessed to know him.






Well done fellow, that is what parenting is all about.


These are my opinions, feel free to disagree.
#13327954 - 12/03/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,650
SockPuppet Offline
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SockPuppet  Offline
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Posts: 4,650
High Desert
FANTASTIC! Can't believe I missed this, but thank you so much for sharing. Congratulations to the girl and I hope she continues to hunt. As a parent with kids in the same age range I understand the BS peer pressure they get from other kids. My 12-year-old daughter had one girl tell her she was a murderer for shooting elk, and that all animals were the same so we were basically cannibals. Crazy.


Would you experience immensely righteous fulfillment if I conceded to your condescending suspicions? -Northern Dave, 21st Century philosopher

~Molɔ̀ːn Labé Skýla~
#13328136 - 12/03/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jan 2010
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kingston Offline
Campfire 'Bwana
kingston  Offline
Campfire 'Bwana

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 14,778
Congratulations! I too somehow missed this. Thank you for posing. I had my 12YO nephew in camp this past weekend. We had a blast!

#13328209 - 12/03/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,868
doctor_Encore Online content
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doctor_Encore  Online Content
Campfire Tracker

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 6,868
west of the Chesapeake Bay
Congrats to all for a great hunt.

#13333271 - 12/04/18 Re: 11 y.o. Girl First Elk Hunt [Re: JackAZ]  
Joined: Jul 2003
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ChrisF Offline
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ChrisF  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 821
Thank you for sharing that great hunt!
Your daughter is a fortunate girl to have you guiding her through what I'm sure were/are tough times and providing her with these good times. I also love the acknowledgements and gratitude toward those that have helped you. May you have many more experiences like this with your daughter.


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