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  1. #1
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    Daughter's First Deer

    Just thought I'd share one of my most memorable and rewarding hunts I've ever had. Likely ever. Both my daughters' have been coming to the range with me since they were 5 and 7 years of age. They both enjoy shooting and quickly became very good shots with my .22lr and my .17HMR. Since a fairly young age they have accompanied me on hunts and since turning 10 carried the .22 for grouse. They both shot their first grouse on the same day and were proud of their skills as hunters. When they were 13 and 15 I bought them a Savage Axis Youth model in 7mm-08 and the older one quickly became comfortable with a larger caliber while the younger one was somewhat recoil shy. As it happens my oldest daughter enjoys shooting but not killing so although she still comes along for the hike she never expressed any interest in taking her CORE(our hunter training course here in BC.)Not so with the younger girl she always wanted to hunt and so after completion of hunter training we got her very own tags for 2017.

    Our youth season begins on September 1 but it was so smoky and dangerously dry through pretty much the whole of September we just didn't get out much. The zones to the east of us were completely closed to everyone so our region was inundated with way more hunters than normal. So September is over and with my daughter being 14 she is a busy girl, cross country running, volleyball, spending time with her friends, homework, she had a lot of demands on her time. October seems to fly by and while we got out a few times and saw quite a few mule deer bucks none were legal(4-point or better on one side during the regular rifle season). Whitetail bucks were scarce as well with no sightings while we hunted together.

    Now we're getting late into November and she finally has a morning free. November 18 she has to be home by around noon to go to a friends birthday party but we have a whole morning and the rut is in full swing. We leave the house a bit too early and get to where we'll park the truck a good 1/2 hour before legal light so we sit and finish our coffee/hot chocolate and just chat. Definitely my favourite aspect of taking them out into the mountains is how we connect.

    We leave the truck shortly before sunrise with six inches of fresh quiet snow to still hunt through and start up the mountain into the wind. As we gain elevation the snow deepens and the slopes open up a bit before us. We are following a series of game trails, dirtbike trails, and old skid trails up a ridge heading south. We're just slowly making our way glassing every opening and watching the slopes around us for movement. My girl doesn't complain once even though it's steep and slippery, she's hunting. I know she needs a break so I'm guiding her to a vantage point where we will be able to glass a fairly large section of open slope with mature forest and lots of game trails. We can have our tea and a snack while watching for deer movement.

    The ridge we're on runs north to south and drops steeply to our west and then rises to another open ridge, the ravine between the two is thick with cedar regrowth interspersed with lots of openings. Deer trails everywhere. As we slowly make our way along our side of the ravine we are constantly checking each opening and the ridge to our west. We're not far from our rest stop when I catch a glimpse of something more brown than it's surroundings. A whitetail buck. He hasn't seen us and the wind is good so I quickly get my daughter set up on my shooting stick. She's sitting there with a solid rest while I watch through my binocular quietly talking her through. She's got him in her scope but he's quartering hard to us, basically facing us and she asks "Can I shoot?". My reply "As soon as you're on....Boom!" No hesitation whatsoever. The deer immediately disappears from the opening only to stagger out a few feet over in a another and fall over. Now my girl gets really emotional, she is pretty upset, keep in mind this was the first big game animal she had ever killed or even seen killed. We just sat up there and drank our tea and she calmed down and assured me she really liked hunting but found killing hard. To my way of thinking that's as it should be, it shouldn't be easy to take a life.
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    By the time we head down off the ridge to her deer she's excited and asks if we can get some smokies made at the local German butcher shop. As I'm cutting her tag she's stroking the bucks ears and talking real low(I can't make out what she's saying but strangely enough I always do the same with each animal I kill, thanking him/her for the sustenance they will provide for my family). Then we get to work and because of time restraints I show her how to gut an animal while she helps instead of me helping her do it for herself. She did everything just right, one shot, very little meat damage and as humane a kill as you could ask for. The perfect hunt, still hunting on our favourite mountain my girl and myself, fresh snow and just a nice four point buck to top off the morning. Luckily there was a really good game trail leading downhill(mostly) to a landing where we could get my truck into not too far away.

    She was shooting her Savage 7mm-08 using Hornady American Whitetail 139gr Interlocks.
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    Last edited by Joseph; 04-01-2019 at 01:06 PM.

  2. The Following 10 Users Say Congratulations to Joseph For This Post:


  3. #2
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    Congratulations to her.
    I go to the Mountains to loose my mind and find my soul.

  4. #3
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    Congrats.... Very Nice Deer.... Memories that will Last A Life Time.....

  5. #4
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    That's awesome Joseph. Thanks so much for sharing. They grow up fast, so savor these moments.

  6. #5
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    Congrats to your daughter!

 

 

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