Daughter’s First Buck

EastTNHunter

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Jun 13, 2018
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561
On a youth draw hunt Saturday, my 10 year old daughter and I got into the woods right as it quit raining, but still well before dark. Got settled in and had deer 15 yards behind us almost immediately, but obviously can’t shoot yet. People walked through to our south just before daybreak, and saw nothing by the time that legal shooting light broke. Saw one doe that snuck into within 20 yards behind us and spooked, and then heard lots of shots and saw several hunters all around us nearby. We moved for the afternoon hunt.

We got setup in a new location by just before 2:00, and 15 minutes or so after setting up we had a decent 2.5 year old 8 point trot into 50 or 60 yards and I stopped it broadside with a “meh!” She yanked the trigger and missed, the buck stood there trying to figure us out, but she didn’t let our practice kick in and she didn’t reload quickly or smoothly and the buck finally ran off. She was dejected, but I told her that she would have other chances and that she should learn from this. We talked through what she did wrong, what she should do next time, and to shake off the miss.

We didn’t see much the rest of the afternoon until about 45 minutes before dark, then the woods came alive. A fawn worked in under us and past us to the right, but my daughter couldn’t see it until it was too far past for a shot. All for the best because when she saw it she said that it was too small anyhow. Also, we were able to practice her setting up for a left handed shot.

Less than 5 minutes later I saw a buck following roughly the same track as the fawn, but my daughter could not see it due to trees and a small rise between us and the deer. I could not really tell how big it was, only that it was wide. I told her to get ready for a left handed shot (we’ve practiced ambidextrous shooting from a bipod for weeks), and I physically pulled the gun and bipod around to get her ready for the buck going through where the fawn did. Well, it didn’t take the same track... it actually came closer! It popped up over the lip of the rise at 15 yard, I let out a “meh,” it stopped broadside, the 308 barked, and it dropped in its tracks in some maple saplings! The 125 NAB in that youth load did a great job on the close range high shoulder shot, but stopped on the skin on the offside in a perfect mushroom.

We were so ecstatic as we watched it for a few minutes to make sure that it didn’t get up, and we both started shaking. She started saying “I can’t stop smiling, but my cheeks hurt” even before she realized how big it was. When we walked up to it she was amazed.

It’s definitely bigger than anything that I’ve killed, even if it lacks for mass or trophy score. I can only imagine how she feels about her first buck being one this big.

Honestly, I would have been thrilled for her if this had been a doe. We’ve practiced a good bit, and she bounced back really well after the miss by making a left handed shot. The fact that it was a nice buck is icing on the cake.

She’s mainly happy for the nachos, though, she says :D
 

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neffa3

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Apr 17, 2015
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Wenatchee
Holy cow, great deer. How'd she handle the .308? Mine is a year younger, but she's pretty recoil shy. I'm thinking of starting her on a 30-30, even that I feel might be too much.
 

DaveA27

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Oct 26, 2020
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Southwest ID
Nice deer!
Holy cow, great deer. How'd she handle the .308? Mine is a year younger, but she's pretty recoil shy. I'm thinking of starting her on a 30-30, even that I feel might be too much.

I picked up a 6.5 CM and put a muzzle break on it. My sons love shooting it...as do I.
 

EastTNHunter

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Jun 13, 2018
Messages
561
Holy cow, great deer. How'd she handle the .308? Mine is a year younger, but she's pretty recoil shy. I'm thinking of starting her on a 30-30, even that I feel might be too much.
The .308 was fed a handloaded youth load consisting of H4895 and a 125 NAB. Recoil is very mild. Up until this year she has shot an AR 5.56 due to adjustable stock and low recoil. She has grown A LOT over the past year and is actually liking the 308. The bolt lift is harder on her than the recoil.
 

neffa3

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Joined
Apr 17, 2015
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4,772
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Wenatchee
The .308 was fed a handloaded youth load consisting of H4895 and a 125 NAB. Recoil is very mild. Up until this year she has shot an AR 5.56 due to adjustable stock and low recoil. She has grown A LOT over the past year and is actually liking the 308. The bolt lift is harder on her than the recoil.
interesting. thanks. I'll look into some reduced recoil loads.
 

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