Too much of a backstory to convey accurately. In short a 13 year old was able to harvest his 1st deer. An older doe with no fawn. 13 yard shot. Deer ran less than 20 yards and crumbled within sight of our ground blind. Lasted just a few seconds. Very clean and ethical harvest.
He is my son. Product of a divorced home. I get him during the summer and a few breaks in between. The divorced parents with kids realize its tough. Even tougher for a young man that was born to hunt and thinks his father is a Hero and emulates his every move.
We've shot archery together for 3 years now. Kids love bows and arrows. It's quiet. And there is no reloading involved and there is not a current Arrow Scare. We can find supplies anywhere.
We got into 3D tournaments from the get go. But I only have him late June thru end of August. We get 3+ shoots in per season. This has really helped my son focus. Clinically ADHD and Dyslexic.... School isn't a blast for him and passing is an uphill battle. Archery forces him into a mental checklist. Some shoots he is a Hammer. Others, he's a schitt show. You can see when he loses focus and gets fatigued.
I purchased a home on some acreage. We were able to hunt right from home. We'd watched local deer all summer. One bossy doe we named Scar, as she had a streak down her side. She was the meanest deer we had on the property. Always running the other does and fawns off. We decided to Green Light her if given the chance.
I was real concerned for his set up. He is shooting a Hoyt Ruckus at 43 lbs. His DL is 25". But his penetration in our block was pretty feeble. We chono'd his rig at 213fps. I don't recall his arrow weight. Think GPI is 7.4 on a Gold Tip. Everyone recommended a cut on contact 2 blade head. He ran a Carbon Express Nativ. I hand honed it to a razor finish.
He was too erratic at 20 yards. After discussing with fellow shooters, it was decided to set him up at 13 yards. The idea was that he could make the shot if an opportunity came or we would have no shot at all. A very tough decision, as we get 1-3 days to hunt each year. If this didnt pan out.....it's dream of hunting again in 364 days.
I made him practice shooting from a kneeling position. Made him shoot in his hunting clothes. He found out some clothes squeak. That a hood blocks your anchor point. I gave him a dedicated 13 yard pin. He checked the drop from 13 to 16 yards. Went over a types of angles.
We practiced drawing on deer a few days before. Getting the timing down. Shot angles. And No Shoots.
We had deer in front of us early on. A doe with a fawn. No go. A solo doe in the early evening hunt. She offered no good angles. A nail biter but never a shot opportunity.
Just when we thought we were done, Scar appeared. He saw the trademark scar on the side. A non verbal Thumbs Up conveyed the Green Light was on.
He was very patient and mature waiting for the angle. Maybe 9 minutes of a shoot able deer at 13 yards! I was coming unglued. She finally changed her position and the bow was up. One more step and the leg stretched opening that pocket we watched on TV shows for the past 10 years. Just like that....PLUNK!
I did not see the arrow hit. She ran off maybe 8 yards and looked at her side. Kicked once. Ran a circle and flopped over. That's it. THEN the shakes happened. He was beside himself. There was no question of the outcome. We could see her down right there.
So he learned failure. He has hunted for 3 years without harvest. He's learned work and practice will eventually pay off. Persistence. As well as the joy of success.
I had to make the 3 hour drive and return him to his "Custodial Parent". Back to the city. Guns and bows are gone til Christmas. Back to a world of video games and latch key self sitting. It's always hard for me. Thinking of all the time and adventures we will never have. I pulled into the driveway and saw the archery target we shot at all summer. Couldn't keep it together. From such highs to such lows in 24 hours....