This young man is a killer. He has taken a step towards the world of adults. It was a step he enjoyed.
The day started with technical difficulties. When my dad arrived the day before to set things up in the blind he found a rather large wasp nest attached to the ceiling and covered with wasps. Also the indoor/outdoor carpet we put on the floor to help keep our chairs quiet had more wasps under it. This time of year they go crazy looking for a warm place and any structure is high on their list. My dad used a number of cans of wasp spray on the blind and then drug the carpet out and tossed it aside. This was no small feat considering he is allergic to wasp stings.
This left us with a blind full of dead and dying wasps and no chairs so the three of us got up at 3:30 am and headed over there to clean up and prepare. I swept out the dead bugs and knocked down the nest. Here is a pic next to my size 11 boot.
We got the chairs and our gear up in the blind and I left may dad and the boy in the blind and took my dad's truck off a ways to park it. I'm not used to remotes and accidentally set off the "Panic" alarm. Lights flashed, the horn honked, it was fun. After getting that thing shut off I headed back to the blind. Generally I have time to scout this out and make sure I know where the road connects to the path up to the blind but not this time. I was out there in chest high tumbleweeds walking as the crow flies until I crossed the path. The weeds were so thick that even my red flashlight didn't help much. I finally made it to the blind and we settled in to wait.
We saw lots of whitetails around. A total of 10 or 12 in a couple of hours but none of them were withing the boys range. Part of the problem was the new computer chair that my dad saved from scrap at someones office. It squeaked every time he moved and it rattled on the floor, which the lack of carpet didn't help. We did see the big 10 pointer but he was about 125 yards away and moving the other direction. We also saw the two smaller bucks that were together in one of the game cam pics. One was a nice looking 8 point and the other a narrow 6. They played around at about 100 yards for 20 minutes or more but wouldn't come any closer.
Finally I looked around and saw a cute little spike about 50 yards away and he was coming right at us. I started getting the boy ready and got the rifle up to where he could rest it on the edge of the blind. The spike was now about 30 yards away and looking at us. We had more shuffling around as the boy tried to get lined up. Before he could shoot the spike became alarmed and ran away. Better luck next time.
After another long wait about 40 or 50 turkey came walking up on every side of us. It was getting near 10:00am and the boy wanted to drop the hammer on something so we gave him the green light. Here is the result of that.
You have to be carefull shooting turkey with a deer rifle. He hit it low near the pelvis and basically blew both legs to shreds without touching the breast. That is about the best shot you can make with a high powered rifle. I'm glad he made it but it was luck.
We went back to the house for some lunch and to warm up. Then we spent a little time with shooting .22s and he took a few more practice shots with the deer rifle.
The forward mounted scout scope really works great for kids because it solves almost all the eye relief issues. With the wide eye relief range I can pick up the rifle and use it without any trouble except I have to push the cheek rest over to get my face down on the stock far enough. How wide is the eye relief range? Something like 18" on that model. One rifle that fits both adults and kids is handy.
We went back in the afternoon and went to a different blind. The deer had been hanging out within 40 yards of this blind. The wasps had gotten very active around the other blind. This blind is made of trees that were in sort of a trapezoid pattern with 2x4s screwed into them to make a shooting rail and camo cloth hung on the 2x4s. We saw a few turkey but the deer weren't coming out to play.
I scanned around, then looked at the boy and at my dad. When I looked up again 5 seconds later there was a whitetail doe standing just a few feet on our side of the tree line and within range. I put the rifle up on the rail and grabbed the boy and pushed him up behind it.
The doe was facing directly at us. First she had her head up, then she put it down to pick some leaves off a fallen branch. I thought she would never move and he would have to shoot her through the top of the neck. Finally she started walking to the side and then I was afraid she wouldn't stop. The foolish deer did stop to take another look at us. At the sound of the shot she went down like someone dropped a '58 Buick on her. One leg wiggled a few times and that was that.
We decided to wait a little while and see if another deer would come out but they were done for the day. With mule deer one of the best methods of attracting them is to shoot one, hang it from a tree and start gutting it. It is best to have a buddy with his rifle handy while cleaning deer during mule deer season. I've had them walk up to within 25 yards of me while cleaning a deer or turkey on several occasions. Whitetails aren't like that, though. They are more suspicious by nature.
A little while later we went out to tag it and get some pics and we noticed a few things.
Here is the deer. Note the leaf still in it's mouth. Also, look closely at the head. This was a buck but the antlers hadn't broken the skin yet. Also, check out the tail.
Here is the closeup of the lack of tail.
That is the second whitetail I've taken that was missing it's tail. I don't know what got it but it was healed up completely.
Here are some more pics.
This youngster sat in the blind in the cold from about 5:15am to almost 10:00am. Temps in the high 30s early on and they moved up to the mid 40s by the time we broke for lunch. The kiddo didn't complain about it and for the most part sat like a bump on a log. He's a trooper.
We had a big weekend and got a start on filling the freezer up again. Tonight my better half is going to fix the turkey. I can't wait to get home.
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