Had an awesome sit with my son this evening for the 3 day youth rifle season.
Last year he begged me to go during our late antlerless season so he could shoot a deer like mom and dad. We got him licensed up and went to sit on a friend’s wheat field where a couple dozen does were coming out each evening. Wouldn’t you know it, we had two really nice bucks come by at under 50 yards but no does. A big mob of pigs showed up and I told him he could practice on them. Well at 20 yards he froze up, mega buck fever, couldn’t calm down enough to shoot one of the 30 or so pigs we had at spitting distance. He got kinda discouraged and decided he might wait until next year.
Next year is here and he’s been champing at the bit for “kid’s season” as he calls it. We’ve been shooting and talking about shot placement a lot for the last few weeks and I was pretty confident he might be able to make it happen this time.
So 5:15 found us sitting in the weeds on the edge of a plowed wheat field, since it’s been too dry for anyone to sow anything. But there is some crab grass and a little bit of volunteer coming up with last weekend’s rain and I’ve been seeing deer every evening out there.
At 6:30 or so 5 little bucks eased out of the creek and started to graze about 100 yards outside our rather short effective range. We watched them for a while until a big bobcat came out of the creek and began stalking them. Without any cover in the plowed field he wasn’t able to succeed in doing anything but spooking them and running them off. So we sat and watched and whispered about how we have to be patient when we’re hunting.
At 7:15 we’d had a bellyful of being patient, still, and quiet and we agreed it was probably time to check it in even though we had 15 minutes of legal time left. As I slowly turned before standing up I see a familiar shape in the field behind us, deer! I have to completely resituate the folding stool he uses for a rest, the rifle, the boy, and myself as quickly and quietly as possible but I managed to pull it off just before they fed out into the open.
They feed their way out and one is up on a terrace at about 80 yards and the other is probably 50. I talk him through it and he gets lined up on the closer one. “When she stops put it right in the crease and squeeeeze”. POW! And I see dirt fly as he shoots over her, dang. She turns inside out and nearly runs over us, seeing us and veering off into the brush at 8 feet.
But wait, the other one is standing up there looking nervous and confused. “I’m on it dad”, he tells me. Further than I wanted him to shoot but he swears he’s steady so I tell him to let er rip and remember to squeeze. Blap, and I hear the hard WHOP!, as it lands. And she completely melts, down and done right there.
And so it begins, another deer hunter is born.