For My 10th Birthday - I Went Deer Hunting

For My 10th Birthday - I Went Deer Hunting

When I checked my draw results for the 2021 season, I got the all too familiar list of unsuccessful for everything I put in for. 

Next, I typed in the hunting license for my oldest son, Hunter. This would be his first year hunting big game so I hoped he'd have some better luck than me. I was stoked to see "Successful" next to a Bull tag, as well as an extra Doe tag! 

Prepping for the fall hunts started right away. I bought him his first 22lr for his 4th birthday and it only took a couple years for him to want to shoot farther so I added a 22-250 and 260 to his collection. For the bull tag, we added a 300wsm in the mix as well, so shooting was by no means new too him, but most of his shooting was off a bench or prone so we worked on shooting positions that would more than likely be positions he'd use in the field, and also swapped out the bullseye targets for deer and elk targets to work on shot placement on the animal.

With two deer tags and an elk tag in his pocket, the summer seemed to drag on forever. The extra Doe tag opened first, but it was also before he was old enough to hunt so we had to wait until his birthday to head out. We figured, what better way to celebrate turning 10 than going hunting for his birthday! Originally, I planned to take him up that morning but at the last minute we decided to head up the night before to look around. The boys and I loaded the truck as quick as we could with our gear and a few sleeping bags and took off trying to get up there before dark.

We made it with about 20 minutes of daylight left to look around and were able to find several groups of deer on the property we could hunt. We found a spot to camp next to the property and by camp I mean Hunter and I sleeping in the back seat and Talen sleeping in the front seat of the truck! While we ate some cold pizza, we talked about a game plan for the morning. His tag was doe only but he could shoot either species and wanted a whitetail, so we looked at some maps and decided a route for the morning that would put us next to a group of whitetails we found that evening.

While setting my alarm clock for the morning, already half asleep, I mixed up the dawn (0640) versus sunrise (0710), so when my alarm went off at 6:45 a.m., it was already after dawn and we could see out the truck windows. We hurried and got dressed in the truck and got out. As I was loading my pack, I caught movement behind me. Three muleys were feeding less than 100 yards from us. I asked Hunter if he wanted to shoot one, he said no, so we set off to get a whitetail. 

We climbed the fence and started following the creek toward where we found the group of whitetails the night before. Around the first bend, we spotted another group of about a dozen muleys feeding within 150 yards of us. Once again, he decided to pass, so we dropped down in the creek to avoid spooking them and have them blow all the other deer out. 

We got to the next bend where the whitetails where the night before and snuck up the bank to glass. There were two whitetails 200 yards out! We watched them feed for a minute, waiting for them to pop their heads up and sure enough, the bigger one was a spike and the other was a fawn - we wanted a mature doe.

I glassed up the herd from the night before across the field at 500ish yards. While he’s made those shots before proned out, he wasn’t stable enough standing with the tripod to make it, so we opted to wait in hopes they’d feed towards us and bed next to the creek for the day.

After sitting there a few minutes, I caught movement to our right. A whitetail was running right for us getting chased by a coyote. We hurried and spun the gun around, but it was a nice buck so we couldn’t shoot. He stopped 40 yards from us and the boys got a good look at him. I had Talen on another tripod with a video camera and he was stoked to get some good video of the buck. The coyote then turned its attention to the other group of deer and went and chased them around a second. Hunter wanted to shoot the coyote but he was just too short to shoot in the uncut alpha.

After the coyote got the deer all spun up, they started heading our direction, that’s when our height difference got frustrating. I could see them all very well, but all Hunter could see was their heads. We slowly crept up to get him a little more elevation to get a better look, and right as we got the gun set up, the lead doe fed into a higher spot in the field. He said he could see her full body in the scope above the alpha. I told him to remember his breathing, make a good trigger squeeze and shoot whenever he was ready. He touched off the shot out of the 300wsm and she leaped in the air, confirming a vital hit! I think the suppressor had them disoriented because the whole herd ran right towards us. She only made it a short distance before tipping over, and Talen was in awe at how high she jumped with the shot.

We got some good pictures and while my boys have watched me clean multiple animals, it was time for them to learn how to do it on their own so, I walked them through it.

I'm super proud of Hunter and his perfect shot on his first big game animal. He soaks up all the knowledge he can while we’re out and it shows, he’s turning into a good outdoorsman at a young age. Can’t wait to get out after bucks in a couple weeks and the hunt we’re most excited about - his November bull tag!

Posted in Stories from the Hunt