Why is it that when a young man turns 12 years old and is able to purchase a hunting license that his father or grand father thinks that it is the right thing to do to let him use his old trust worthy hunting rifle the 30-30 for his first hunt?
My problem or the young mans started this morning at about 7:30 am when in his sights he saw and attempted to take a 200 yard shot with a 30-30 with his father at his side. At the shot the deer lurched as if he had been hit but didn't go down. I came upon this situation this morning at about 8 am and was told that the young man had hit the deer and that they had found blood but had lost the blood trail. Well, being the helpful person that I am I volunteered my services to see if I could help the young man find his quarry and forgo my scouting trip for the day. After much searching from the spot that they had last seen blood I picked up a faint drop of blood on a piece of sagebrush. Then another and another over about 100 yards then it was time to look harder for it since it wasn't flowing as it should but he had hit the deer.
Well, fast forward to now 9 pm Mountain Standard Time and I was on the track for 12 hours trying to find that buck to no avail. The last trace that I saw of his tracks or blood was in a deep side canyon leading down the the Eagle River that flows along side I-70. I hated to do it but I had to give up and the young hunter was beat. I doubt that he was awake much longer than 5 minutes after he sat down in his dads truck.
I don't think that this deer is dead or is going to die (I hope) but we gave it a valiant try to find him.
My big gripe about this story is the great fire arm a Winchester M94 in .30-30 shooting a 150 grain round at a range of 200 yards with a unexperienced hunter shooting it. Now before all of you jump on me and tell me that the .30-30 has killed more animals than just about any other round since smokeless powder I'll agree with you, just not in the hands of a 12 year old on his first hunt.
So dads out there when your youngster decides that he or she wants to take up the family tradition of hunting and providing for the family get them a nice modern rifle to take care of the job. A .243, .257 Roberts, .25-06, and 7mm-08 are all easily available to purchase either new or used and perhaps when that young tenderfoot takes his first shot at a game animal at 200 yards that animal will die a quick death. Save that trusty heirloom for when you young hunter is a little bit more experienced.
OK, I'm off of my soap box.