So I thought you guys would like to hear a story.
I have a son who is eleven years old and this little fella has been my shadow since the day he was born. He has always been an exceptional kid even when he was just a baby, even though I know that I am biased. Very rarely gives any grief and is just a pleasure to be around.
He goes with me hunting and fishing and hangs right in there no matter what the conditions are. He will fish until his fingers are sore from casting and there isn’t enough light left to see how to tie a hook. He will hang in there in the woods until we both are shivering cold.
This year I decided it was time to get this kid his first deer. In the past we just haven’t had any luck finding one for him. Our season here in western NC is only 3 weeks long, which severely limits our possibilities. This year however, I had some time off of work and decided to take him to some farmland in the central part of the state during the Thanksgiving holiday where there are plenty of deer to increase his chances.
I have always had the rule that if he’s going to hunt, then he must practice his shooting to be ready for taking an animal. I broke out the old Rem 700 chambered in .243 that he has carried in the past. It’s just a bare-bones rifle that my late grandfather passed on to him before passing away in April of 2010. The rifle has a cheap 3-9 scope and about the best I can do with it is 2” at 100yds. I fired a few shots just to confirm zero and make a few adjustments and then let him shoot for practice. I have to say; he did about as well as I did, so I was pretty impressed. At that point I broke out my R.W. Snyder custom .308 that I won at the spring PTS match in Cookeville. I will post a link to that thread here:
Now this rifle is a different animal altogether than the little Remmy that he just finished shooting. It’s a fully custom rifle sporting a Bartlein 5R barrel, PDC aluminum chasis, trued Rem 700 action, Badger bolt knob, RWS muzzle brake, Nightforce ATACR scope, you get the picture. After I shot it a few times to show him that the recoil is minimal, he nervously got behind the rifle and immediately said, “Wow! I can see the target really well!” He fired the first shot and looked back at me and said; “Now that’s not bad at all.” I took a look through another riflescope of mine and saw that he had made a pretty good shot, but just chalked it up to being an accident or beginner’s luck. He fired a second shot, looked back at me and said, “dad, I think that went in the same hole.” I quickly took a look and sure enough! The second shot cut the same hole as the first. He cycled the bolt and shot a third time. This time he looked back at me and had a grin from ear to ear and said, “Yep, that went in the same hole too.” I took a look at the target and indeed he had just put the 3rd shot in the same hole as well. The fourth he corrected slightly and hit the bullseye. I began singing his praises and perhaps he got a little cocky and pulled the fifth shot.
He then shot two other targets and proceeded to print groups that averaged in the 1/2 minute range at 100yds. I then decided that he would be hunting with this rifle when we went on our hunting trip since the boy can definitely get it done with this rig.
These are the pics of the target from the range that day.
Skip ahead now to our hunting trip a couple weeks ago. We got out to the field early in the morning and I had him put my rucksack between his legs and rest the heavy-for-him rifle on it to help him steady it. My son weighs 87lbs and the rifle and scope combo weighs approx. 16-17lbs, so I figured it would give him better support to use the ruck. At this area in the state both bucks and does are legal, so he’s good to shoot anything he can get. After all, the jerky tastes all the same.
At about 10am we saw a deer traversing the field to our left. I told him to get ready and he quickly found a comfortable position snugging the stock up into his little shoulder. I was watching the deer from my riflescope and informed him that this was a small buck and to “take it”. The deer paused for a second after I let out a grunt. I then watched as if I had a front row seat to the whole thing as the RWS brake barked a concussive blast at my right side and the little buck dropped in his tracks. A high shot had broken the spine and a follow up shot was required. We then got into the prone position and he took a shot that finished the job. Needless to say, we were both ecstatic!! We exchanged high fives and I ranged the deer with my LRF to verify the distance to target was 179yds. Not too shabby for a first deer kill if I say so myself! Now this wasn’t a B&C record buck by any means, but you surely couldn’t tell it from this little fella’s reaction. He acted like he was the king of the world, and to be honest, so did I.
Here are the pics from the hunt:
Here he is in the truck giving dad the “double thumbs up” and a mile-wide grin:
And here he is with the small 4-pointer with the RWS hammer that he used to take his first deer as well as print some dang impressive groups:
Sorry for the lengthy post, but us proud dads tend to get long-winded. I hope you folks enjoyed reading it.