First Hunt of the 2012 Season

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Recently, youth season opened up for deer. Even though my own son isn't old enough to take hunting, I still managed to get some time out and glass the bean fields for some whitetail. I found LOTS of bucks ranging from small to giant. So, there was a lot left to capitolize on for the opener. I made the goal of taking out every youth I could find.

Out of the two teenage neighbors I have, and my friend's son; my friend Rick son had yet to harvest a deer. Rick has been taking his son deer hunting for several years with no success. This year Rick's son, Jake, enjoyed his first turkey kill in the spring on my neighbor's CRP land and hoping to continue this pattern of confidence building we headed out to a bean field nearby.

I have been seeing a group of a half dozen bucks in this field for the past few weeks with some in the 150 inch range. The chances of getting Jake a really nice buck were very high.

Three hours before sunset we hiked out to the treeline at the back of the field and waited to see what came out. The wind and the weather were both perfect. Hopes were high that a respectable buck would soon follow.

Wouldn't you know it, the first deer to come out was a doe, followed by more does. After what seemed like years to young Jake, a small 3x2 walked out of the tree line. I told Jake that this deer was too small to shoot. We watched him feed for a half hour. The buck started at 400 yards distant and then fed to a mere 50 yards. Jake asked me if you could shoot the deer. I caved in.

The first shot from my Winchester .243 brought the buck to the ground. Jake was more than pleased, and so was his father!

I think we could have done better on the size of the buck, but they were pleased. And it helped to remind me that it's important to take kids hunting regardless of the success, regardless of the score of the deer. I guarantee that Jake will always look back at this experience and smile. As for me, I hope I harvest better bucks with the two neighbor boys.

It was a good start to a year though, I know that.

Image Courtesy kansasphoto via Flickr

Comments

Ca_Vermonster's picture

"Jake was more than pleased,

"Jake was more than pleased, and so was his father!I think we could have done better on the size of the buck, but they were pleased."........

 

You say you think you could have got a better buck, but it looks like what he got was perfect!

swisheroutdoors's picture

Reminded Me Of Precious Moments

I have been blessed when it has come to hunting with my children.  Both have taken their first buck.  Now I deal with a new foe of pressure, quality time.  My daughter 16 wants to bow hunt now.  So that's our plan for next year.  My Son 12 he is the off again on again.  Young kids just want to shoot something in the 1st 15 minutes.  We were all pumped up about going squirrel hunting then the next day I got the maybe next time Dad I'm going to go play football.  This year has been tough.  We lost our hunting lease and club so its public hunting on Wildlife Management Areas.  We missed all the deadlines for quota hunts.  I'm at my wits end.  Was hunting in Archery Only area and had three hunters hunting with rifles close by.  I reported them via a tip hotline.  I saw seven does my 1st day bow hunting in new area on crabapples and passed them up full of confidence.  Well I haven't seen one since then and my freezer is empty.  My daughter is making fun of me for the lack of back straps.  (Her favorite with rice)  Yup right about now all I want is a doe and some time to actually go hunting.  Last year and the year before were blessings spending most of my time with the kids hunting.  This year is a total bust so far.  Bummed and Venison deprived. :(

Retired2hunt's picture

Hang in there as the season

Hang in there as the season and year is not over. I had the privilege to be there when my youngest son shot his first deer at age 16 and he will be hunting with me 6 years later this December. I can't wait! Just spent 9 days elk hunting and coming home empty so really looking forward to this time as well. Again - hang in there as it will come for you.

The Western Hunter's picture

I used to guide hunters

I used to guide hunters professionally, but I don't really enjoy hunting with most adults anymore. It seemed like none of the clients had any respect for the animal, and all that they cared about was the score of the animal they killed.

At least the kids are always thankful.

The one neighbor boy sits in my treestand several nights a week now looking for this monster whitetail that will be between 180-190"... as for me, I'm more worried about elk opener in two weeks.

I think its great you take

I think its great you take the kids to shoot. Future hunters. I was just wondering if you were going to finish your wilderness area blog. I thought it was great since this is the type of hunting I do and have been interested in moving around to some other spots. 

groovy mike's picture

Very cool

I was with my son when he took his first deer last season and this year his friend has asked to hunt with us. Youth weekend is Columbus day weekend.... With any luck we can get out for turkeys or geese even before then!

SFC B's picture

Truly about the experience and getting them excited.

Last year I had the joy of guiding my son to his first deer and it was one of the great experiences of my life.  He had been hunting with me the two previous years and had only gotten one shot (a clean miss at a doe-150 yds, I "caved" on the distance).  Last year, two days before Thanksgiving, we were hunting on the farm of a friend back home in Indiana.  We had fashioned ourselves a ground blind in an "island" in the middle of a cut corn field.  The morning was pouring rain and nothing to be seen.  In the afternoon we got settled in early and waited for Golden hour.  With about 20 min of shooting left we caught movement +- 250yds away (out of his range and that of the 44 mag he is shooting).  We could tell it was a buck but not much more.  It fed almost directly at us and at +-100 yds we saw he was a young but respectable 6pt.  When my son looked at me and smiled I only nodded yes.  His rifle was already on the sticks and he pull the hammer to the rear, squeezed and dropped him with one shot.  He turned to me in disbelief and said "He is down!!"  GREAT day in my life!!  That guys is now about half gone from our freezer (he held place of honor at Christmas dinner).  The deer wasn't what trophy guys would call accecptable, but it was priceless to me

 

SFC B

Retired2hunt's picture

That is a great story and I

That is a great story and I am happy you shared it. I was there for both of my Son's first deer (both small bucks but respectable) and the smile on their faces and to share that specific moment was priceless to me as well.