“I am currently stationed overseas, and was able to take leave to be with my family before the current deployment I am on. While home decided my son was ready for a rifle. So I purchased him a new savage youth .243.
We practiced handling the gun and such for about a week. Then I took him to a local gun range to let him shoot it. He shot 4 rounds through the gun that day, all at 15 yards. Another week later gun season had come in and we travel to my home town of Vinton. At my father’s farm I again let him shoot the gun to make sure it was still shooting true. This time he shot the gun 3 times at a distance of 25 yards.
We were only able to hunt once before thanksgiving, but only saw one doe and never were able to get a shot. So it came down to our last hunt, on my brother’s farm near Lynchburg on Nov 24th. We had a close encounter in the morning, but I had made the mistake of putting my left-handed child on the left side of our tree stand. Once we saw a doe at 40 yards we could not get positioned without scaring her off.
This was a big let down. I explained that is hunting, sometimes we win and sometimes the deer win.
So for the afternoon hunt we decided to hunt a field edge, knowing the deer have been crossing this field just before dusk. Sure enough with about 45 minutes of daylight left we heard something just behind us. I told my son do not move, don’t even blink. It could be a deer or a squirrel. Well as the noise moved to the right of us I was able to turn and see a nice doe. I started to hand him his gun. He got turned a little and shouldered the gun.
I instructed him to wait until the deer walked into the field as it would present an easier shot. Well as soon as the deer hit the field she ran. I told him to try and “get on her”. I let her run out into the field until she cleared a tree branch in his shooting lane. When I yelled at her she stopped in her tracks. Before I could say “Shoot!” a shot rang out.
The deer did not give any sign of being hit, she spun around and start running back across the field. The whole time my son is hollering” GO DOWN, GO DOWN.” I did not say a word because I was not sure my son had made a good shot. Before she could make it across the field I saw her stumble while running. I grabbed my son and yelled, “You hit her!” Before she made it out a sight she collapsed.
We yelled, cried and hi-fived for several minutes. Upon recovery of his deer I noticed that my son had made a perfect shot right behind the shoulder, at 80 yards. I was very impressed.
He said, “Daddy I put it right behind her shoulder like you said.” I then replied,” You sure did.”
This will be a memory I will carry with me forever. He is 10 years old and has hunted with me for a few years now. But this was the first time he has ever carried a weapon to the woods. Being away from my family and not being able to spend the time I would like has made this story even more special to me. I will be home right before hunting season next year and we are looking forward to doing it all over again.
Sorry for the long story but I’m sure you understand how proud I am. Feel free to edit however required. ”
No need to apologize for the length, Chief. And no major editing required. Thanks for the super story and I am sure there are many more to come!