Youth Day

sneaky_pete000

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Meanwhile, Duke was with his grandfather all day Saturday and most of Sunday. They had a spot with action, but were getting busted due to thick fog and swirling winds. Duke asked me to hunt with him on Sunday evening, so we went into the same spot, but with a different approach. We dropped probably 30 milkweed puffs along the way in to try and really understand both thermals and wind. We found a spot on the ground, in the corner that was safe from the wind, and thermals that were sucking our scent away when the wind wasn't bowing...and we were immediately tested. A button buck walked under 10yrds from us and stood broadside. I told Duke he was welcome to take the shot, but he said he'd wait for something bigger. Ballsy move for an 11yr old with only a single deer under his belt. Time went on and I think he questioned his choice. He asked how long before legal was over, and it was 6pm on the nose, meaning he had 24 minutes left.

 

sneaky_pete000

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Almost on que, as I was putting my phone away, I heard him whisper "dad, deer" - a doe was walking left to right, quartering away quickly. She was close to going out of sight, and I could see more deer looking in our direction through some brush to his off side. I told him this doe was bigger and he should take the shot if he was comfortable. He clicked off the safety and let one go...

I saw her jump and twist so her white belly was facing us, but she somehow landed on her feet and ran back where she came from. We stood up and took some steps that way to see where she went into the woods, but I could see a deer standing on the edge...we froze and watched, as she tipped over. I've taken a lot of youths hunting over the years, but my youngest son is by far the most emotionally invested. Any success, deer or turkey, brings him to watery eyes, which makes my cold stone heart beat a little faster and my deep black sole turn to mush...so we needed a few minutes together, but soon went over to admire.

Even though we only have 1 deer hanging, it was another great youth weekend.

 

NH Hunter

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Any success, deer or turkey, brings him to watery eyes, which makes my cold stone heart beat a little faster and my deep black sole turn to mush...so we needed a few minutes together, but soon went over to admire.

Even though we only have 1 deer hanging, it was another great youth weekend.

That's pretty special to have that kind of passion , happiness and excitement happen at once, let along share it with one of your kids. Congrats on the deer, but even more congrats on the moments spent after the shot. Those memories will last a lot longer that anything kids can naturally experience today. I'm sure your daughter enjoyed her daddy time as well.
 

Huntermc6

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awesome stories Pete, thanks for sharing! Hope your daughter manages to tag out this season. That mix of emotions your son felt after the kill is something that still hits me and I doubt it will ever go away.
 

Mountain Hunter

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We almost had one. I made a rookie mistake as a guide for my son, so it's on me.

There is a spot on top of a mountain that I have tracked 3 different bucks through. It's a natural funnel that is a bit hard to get to. Wyatt and I hung a camera in the funnel in September. In one month we got 36 videos of a spike, a 4, doe, and a smasher 8 point. I ribboned in a trail to get to a ledge overlooking the funnel. The plan was to get up early and get to that spot a half hour before daylight.

We got near the spot Saturday morning and my headlamp died. I tried using my phone but I couldn't find my ribbon trail. We stayed put until it was light enough to find our way. We ended up arriving at the spot at 7:23.

At around 7:50 Wyatt spotted a deer coming in. It was a big doe with 3 more doe behind her. I couldn't get him setup fast enough for the big doe so we had to settle for the last doe. I had a clear lane and when she stepped in it at 50 yards I was able to get her to stop. I told him he could shoot and he pulled the trigger before I could even lay my eyes back on the deer.

She turned and bounded off while the other 3 doe slowly walked off. We gave her a half hour. We went down to where she was standing. No hair, no blood. I spent an hour making circles, looking for blood, but I couldn't find any signs of a hit. I decided we should go back to our spot and recreate what happened.

When we got back to the ledge, I sat in his spot, and set the gun on his shooting stick. I had a perfect shooting lane to that doe, but he didn't. He shot through a bunch of beech branches and leaves. I never thought to check, and at 9 years old, he didn't know any better.

We hunted the rest of the weekend, but never saw another deer. He still had a great weekend. I really enjoyed being out there with him.
 

sneaky_pete000

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We almost had one. I made a rookie mistake as a guide for my son, so it's on me.
Don't think like that - and I'll tell you why....

Next year, you'll lay in bed on Friday before youth weekend, staring at the ceiling, feeling the pressure reliving your "rookie mistake". That pressure takes away from the experience, and can even make you less patient with them while you're out there. I don't know my head from a hole in the ground, but I know that at 9yrs old, its not on anyone when it doesn't happen...it just didn't happen, and he still had fun.
 
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We took our grandson out for the afternoon as he had gone first thing with his dad ,saw 2 but no shot at that range and then he had soccer at 9.His older brother had BB games so they dropped him off with us.Papa sat with him in their stand and I sat in my chair halfway between them .They saw 1 but ,again no shot at that range yet again! He’s using a .410 .We ended up finding him a youth model .243 so next time,he’ll be able to reach out ! There is quite a deer trail there so we told his dad,he might need to set up a blind closer if he keeps using the .410 but then a friend of ours offered this one up ..he could use it for the season or buy it! Well,it was bought of course 😊 Those deer better look out now cuz that kid is a dead eye haha!
 

Huntermc6

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@Mountain Hunter I wouldn't get too hung up on that mistake it's part of hunting and now your son has learned a valuable lesson. Sounds like you have found a heck of a spot in the area and you should have some success in this season.

@AdventureNorth Fall sports getting in the way of hunting season was always something I found annoying as a kid. Guess I took more to hunting than I did to soccer, that's why I switched to golf the season is done before hunting kicks off in Maine. Good luck this season hope the kids have success this season!
 




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