Wednesday, December 3, 2008

AJ's First Deer Harvest



This morning was one of a life time. My oldest son AJ and I went out on his first deer hunt, being the opening day of Kansas rifle season. He harvested a beautiful little 8 point buck just 6 minutes after sun up.

We were hunting on a brushy hillside that faces a long barb wire fence. While bow hunting I have seen deer travel along that fence line to an opening. Before first light we set up high on the hillside looking down at the fence line, but soon after daylight (which is approximately 30 minutes before the sun actually rises) I could tell AJ would have a very tough time shooting a deer from a kneeling position because there was too much long grass in the way. I decided to do what I never like to do- move just as it's getting light. The chances of a deer seeing you move are too great in most cases, but I knew there was little chance AJ would be able to kill anything from that spot,not being able to stand and shoot (the gun is a bit too heavy for him to shoot standing). We picked up and moved about 70 yards east and a bit closer to the fence line opening. We quick sat in front of a juniper bush and no more than 10 minutes later I saw antlers coming from the west right along the fenceline. I said, "there's a buck coming AJ.". I pulled the hammer back on his youth model Rossi .243 and handed him the gun, then flipped the safety off for him. He quickly came to shooting position, which for him is a low kneeling squat. He saw the deer moving slowly along the fence line 80 yards away and said a bit too loudly, "I see him!" The deer heard him and came to attention but couldn't see us as were dug in pretty good with the bush and long grass around us. The deer calmed down and proceeded as he was going. AJ was incredibly patient as we waited for the deer to get on the other side of a large bush before readying for the shot. I told AJ to be ready when the deer got on the other side of the bush. He followed directions well and positioned his firearm and was going to look through the scope when the deer seemed to come to alert again. We both froze. The deer calmed again and moved forward as AJ moved the gun up so his eye lined with the scope. The deer stopped at approximately 45 yards and just as I was going to tell AJ to take him- BOOM- AJ fired the gun, the deer mule kicked and ran straight through the fence opening obviously hit hard. We watched him run in to the woods until we lost sight of his white tail. I was pretty sure it was a lethal hit, but my rule is to wait 30 minutes before picking up the blood trail.

The next 30 minutes were awesome. We high-fived, AJ was just ecstatic, and so was I! It's hard to describe how it feels to see your son accomplish something like this. It really is quite a feat for a 9-year old to harvest a deer. I texted a few friends to tell them while we waited the 30 minutes, then we took up the blood trail. We followed the trail and found the deer about 100 yards from where he was shot.

Of all the great moments I have enjoyed hunting and harvesting deer, this experience with AJ surpasses them all.

17 comments:

jeff said...

AJ - Great job!!

This is an experience that you (and your Dad) will never forget! Are you going to have it mounted?

Welcome to the world of successful hunting, and don't forget to thank God for His providence!

Reepicheep said...

We're getting a skull mount.

We prayed thanking God as we found it.

I'm hoping for the same such providence myself!

Frontier Forest said...

It’s hard to hold back my own excitement for you and AJ! This was indeed, an event you both will always remember and forever cherish. Congrat’s and another big hi-5 to a very special young man!

Andrew Barnes said...

Congratulations.

It is the size of my first one.

Where did he hit it?

Zach said...

Congratulations to you both! As exciting as your account was to read, I imagine it was many times more exciting to experience!

barnezy said...

Awesome Story! You'll never forget that one! Tony did you make him eat the heart?

M. Jay Bennett said...

What a great story! Brings back fond memories. I can hardly wait to take Cole out hunting.

Congratulations AJ!

Continued elation Tony!

Wayne said...

Wow! That's awesome.

Phantom495 said...

Awesome job AJ! Your first harvest will always be a special memory that you will recall whenever you look at the mount! My first was similar in size but the body of yours look bigger, and Rick's first came when he was 16! Big congratulations! Now you can give your Dad a hard time until he gets his this season!

Tony, like Barnezy said, did you have him eat the heart and drink the blood? Enjoy this incredible time with your son! The first hunt of any kind is awesome, but to get a deer at nine really is quite a feat!

Frontier Forest said...

What is this eating the heart business? Sounds like stories I heard from Russian missionaries, ministering to the "heatherns" in far northern Siberia?

Reepicheep said...

I do confess to removing the heart, holding it aloft, letting out a war cry and bidding my firstborn to take a bite out of it...

Frontier Forest said...

Do you let out war cries like the Turtle Man?

jeff said...

but did he bite it???

Reepicheep said...

No, instead he commented on how other than the heart of Davy Jones in Pirates III, he had never seen an actual heart.

Phantom495 said...

You have a cool kid there!! HOOORAAH!

jeff said...

I have to say, when you see a real heart, it really is a thing of wonder. Actually, the whole inner workings of any animal, when you see them up close and personal, makes you wonder how anybody can think they all came about by random chance.

The Maker's "mark" is on everything around us, if we just open our eyes to it. Ahh, the theology of a steaming gutpile...

Qayaq said...

If we ever get invaded by the Russians I guess we can expect that your son will kill more of them than anyone else, since he has eaten the heart of his first deer kill.

He can also use his skills learned through hunting and killing to kill many of the Red Commey so-and-sos and maybe rescue out society back for the red-white-and blue.

(See "Red Dawn")