A boy and his doe….

Nambaster

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Feb 23, 2018
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My plane had just touched down from Denver. My wife and I had just spent a week in Costa Rica on a retreat and Denver was our final layover before getting home to the Boise airport. As soon as we landed we sprinted to the nearest grocery store to load up on snacks and treats to get my 10 yr old boy hooked on hunting. He is the 3rd child of 6 and his older sister gave it a shot but lost interest. His older brother just isn’t into it. he turned 10 just a couple weeks prior and our last attempt at deer was spread thin due to encountering an unfortunate rafting incident resulting in the passing of stranger. (See post:https://www.hunttalk.com/threads/zoleo-dispatched-an-ambulance.309762/)

We picked him up out of school and jetted straight off to the hunting spot. We anticipated one hour of light. As we arrived we popped over a barbed wire fence and immediately spotted 4 deer. We tried to move in for a shot but they detected us and started to move. As the sun started to go down a large 4x4 buck crested the horizon to leave a skylined silloette
to be burned in his memory for the next day.
 

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Nambaster

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The next morning we were up at 7:00 ready for the 7:30 legal shooting light, but a truck with an ATV had already parked in our previous nights location. We opted to travel farther down the road and walk the property line to the east.

As we popped over the barbed wire fence a doe started stotting across an opening. As I announced her movement my son lit up and we immediately spotted the other deer from the previous night. We moved in position for a shot and he layer down to get steady. At 150 yards he squeezed off a shot and dust kicked up behind his intended target. He was slightly high on his shot. The deer bounded over the hill and we decided to regroup and pursue cautiously.

The deer stood at the skyline looking back at us within shooting range and although we were super excited, it was a great opportunity to explain why we don’t take those shots especially where there had been a truck a few hundred yards down the road.

Staring at the deer at 100 yards they eventually fed over the skyline and we were able to determine a route that would stage us just a few hundred yards from their intended trajectory. Sure enough as we crested the hill a lone doe bounded off below. We patiently waited as the other 3 were not committing to the same direction.

at 200 yards the other 3 deer had us pinned. My son opted for us to get closer. We were able to sneak to within 84 yards. The deer were intermittently feeding and keeping tabs on us.

I laid my pack down for him to use as a rest and get steady.
 

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Nambaster

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It seemed like 15 minutes went by before a doe presented a decent shot. Finally we had one broadside and feeding and he squeezed a shot off. The familiar thump of lead hitting hide echoed back to the sound of his rifle and the doe hunched up and limped off in a panic. She entered a stand of trees with another doe but she was obviously feeling under the weather.

We stood up to attempt to reposition for a follow up shot, but a little boy appeared on the skyline of the hill where the deer had just entered the trees. We watched the injured doe bed down in the trees as another shot rang out from the other hunters. We kept tabs on the wounded doe and watchEd the other hunters fire off several rounds at the remaining deer. At one time a remaining doe appeared 45 yards from us and my son was able to identify it as another doe rather than the one he had already committed to. I admired that self restraint as we watched that doe wander back into the trees.

The boy on top of the hill dropped a doe and it rolled down the hill. Other shots rang out and a man and another boy had fired at the remaining doe. We decided to approach the other hunters to identify ourselves in the area and to make sure that all hunters and their locations were accounted for. The other party turned out to be a man and his 11, and 12 yr old sons. After conversing with the man we determined that it was safe to approach the bedded doe from where his 12 yr old son was positioned at the hill top. We hiked up and greeted the boy and he was happy let us finish our crippled deer.

As we entered the trees I spotted the doe a mere 8 yards away. I tried to get my son to pick here out but it was so close that he just couldnt make her out. suddenly they made eye contact and she burst from the brush and made it about 100 yards before she had to lay down again.

She laid down in the open and I set my son up for a finishing shot laying down. He touched the trigger and hit high. It was then that I realized that I had recently zeroed the rifle and zeroed it to my eye relief and his eye relief was slightly lower. I told him to aim a little lower and Boom! The doe was down immediately. The shot anchored her for good.
 

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Nambaster

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It was a proud dad moment for sure. As we were taking pictures the man and his 2 sons approached us and he wanted to let them see a deer up close. He asked if we would let them see how the process works. My son and I both looked at each other confused….

He asked “wouldn’t you rather start on your deer?” The man and his sons looked confused as well. It was at that moment that my son and I had just realized that the man and his sons had not been aware of the doe that they had shot.

It was another proud dad moment when my 10 yr old son jumped up and said “follow me, you guys made a great shot on a doe” the 12 yr olds eyes lit up as he realized that he had successfully harvested a deer. Sure enough my son brought the 3 to the exact spot where the doe was down and we were able to watch them celebrate! It was an awesome moment.

We had our deer quartered up and in the back pack before they had gutted their deer. We popped over the hill to say good bye. After friendly conversation we mentioned the bear tracks that we were seeing in the area and specifically knowing the stand of trees that this particular bear likes to hang out. The man had a sick look on his face as they had walked by the stand of trees in the dark and had heard noises in the trees and he was split up from his 12 yr old.

My 10 yr old son begged me to make a detour on our way back to the truck to check that stand of trees as he still had a bear tag burning a hole in his pocket
 

Nambaster

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We approached the “bear” stand of trees and we found all kinds of fresh sign like the bear had been in there all morning, but we couldnt turn him up. We cut a set of tracks and followed them out of the trees and jumped 2 very large bucks. One 4x5 and one 3x3. The unit we were hunting was. 2pt buck or smaller unit and antlerless for youth. We just watched the bucks bounce over the hill.

Shortly after the bucks disappeared another buck was headed straight for us. I verified that it was a 2 point. I asked my son if I should shoot it and there was no hesitation. I examined the buck in my binos and the buck looked ratty. His ear had just been split and several patches of hair on his coat were severely roughed up. Either the other bucks had just gored him and roughed him up or he had just narrowly escaped a bear attack.

He kept on wandering closer and closer to us like he was more concerned about what he was running from than anything else and came to 7 yards. My son handed me his 243 and at nearly point blank range I fired. “ You missed!” He said. Then the buck wobbled and flopped over. “Ope! Never mind“ he ran over to the buck and we had 2 deer to pack out.
 

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Nambaster

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As I loaded the quarters of both deer in my pack for the pack out he asked me if we could at least check the stand of trees that the buck had come from for a bear. I agreed to leave the pack as we investigated. In the trees we found fresh sign and turned up dust and several paw tracks but no bear. We found patches of deer hair likely from my deer all over a dusty patch in the trees.

it began to get dark and I had 2 deer on my pack so we headed home. As we approached the truck he begged me to come back in the morning to check the gut piles.

to be continued……(in the other big game forum)
 

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kansasdad

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Such momentous happenings at the Nambaster home.

Lots of hunting ethics and civil duty obligations and opportunities contained in your well told tales.

Congratulations......and now off to read of your bear adventures
 

WATERMAG

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Jul 13, 2018
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Location
Ohio
Good job raising him right!! I wonder how often people shoot deer and don't even realize they hit them/ put in the effort to make sure it was a clean miss. Good thing for them, your boy saw it.
 
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