Sara's First Buck
Every 11-year-old should get an opportunity like this with father
Hunting with an eleven year old daughter is an interesting experience. By that age she could sit quietly and pay attention for reasonable periods of time, so it was my job to present her with a deer that would stand still long enough for her to take a well-aimed shot.
Russell, her brother, had shot a doe from this same stand earlier that morning, so we were back, hoping for another one; it was 8:30 am. The stand was named “Grand Central Station” or “Grand Central” for short, because it is the confluence of three fields and three blocks of woods. There always seem to be deer moving through, which is how the stand got its name.
The 8-point buck trotted out of the woods on our right and into the field in front of us – about 50 yards away. We spotted him immediately and when he was directly in front of us, I whistled him to a stop. Sara eased into position and made a reasonably quick shot. The deer gave no indication he had been hit, but did a 180 and ran back into the woods he had come out of – and was still running when I lost sight of him.
We waited a few minutes for Sara and Russell to settle down, then climbed out of the stand and walked over to the spot at which the buck was last standing. There was no blood or hair – a 60 grain bullet from a 223 doesn’t leave much of a blood trail. Sara decided that she must have missed and that we should just get back in the stand and wait for another one – but what does an eleven year old girl know?
I suggested we look in the woods where we last saw him. They were pretty open and as we entered I saw the white of his belly about 75 yards away. Sara again complained that we weren’t going to find him and we should wait for another, but I suggested she look off to the left, while Russell and I looked to the right.
Well, Sara found her deer, all by herself, and was of course very excited. Twenty five years passed before she shot another deer that big.
Grand Central Deer Stand
14 November 1987
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