Haley’s Hunt With Grandma Produces First Buck

Hunter's Journal: January 2016

Reader Contributed | January 2, 2016

By Charmayne Chadwick

It was a Thursday afternoon hunt on Oct. 22, 2015. My son, John, and I planned on taking my grandkids hunting that afternoon. My son called and said that he may have to work late, so the hunt was off. Then at 1 p.m. the hunt was back on. Then at 1:30 the hunt was back off. So I came home, and my son called again. He said when he got home the kids were dressed and ready to go. So the hunt was back on.

We arrived at 3:45 p.m. John asked Haley who she was going hunting with, and she wanted to hunt with Grandma, of course. So we loaded up our gear and headed out to the ground blind on the first food plot. We got to the blind and settled in for the afternoon hunt.

It didn’t take long for her to get bored, so she pulled out her tablet, and we started playing tic-tac-toe. We must of played at least 50 games as we lost track of time giggling and laughing when the other person won. Haley also had snacks in her backpack that her mom put in there for her. Do you know how much noise a pack of crackers makes in the woods? I was sure that we wouldn’t see a single deer with all the racket we were making.

It was about 5:45 and something in the field caught my eye. Haley saw me looking, and all the sudden she says, “Grandma, it’s a deer.”

We watched it for a few moments, and Haley said, “Grandma, can we shoot it? Can we shoot it?”

I had to tell her no. She looked at me funny and asked why. I said that it wasn’t a doe day, and we just had to sit and watch the deer. She looked sad at first, but then as we started watching the doe, she  realized how cool it was to simply sit and watch the deer instead of just shooting it.

The doe started from the far side of the food plot and ventured into the middle of the field, and then was heading straight toward us. Haley’s eyes got as big as quarters.

“Here it comes, Grandma. It’s heading straight toward us,” Haley said.

I told her to just sit still or she’d spook it and the deer would run off. As the doe got closer, Haley stood up out of fear and said it looked like the doe was fixing to come into the blind.

“What are we going to do?” she asked.

By that time I was giggling so hard at her reactions that I figured the deer would run off or blow.

All of a sudden the deer stopped about 5 feet from the blind and then took off behind us. I made a remark about how fun that was, and she said, “Yeah, but is it going to stick its head into the blind?”

I reassured her the deer had run off behind the blind. As she sat back down, two deer stepped out. By this time Haley was uncontainable.

“Grandma, Grandma, it’s more deer. What are they?” she asked.

I looked through the scope and told her it was two bucks. You would have thought it was the Fourth of July. She started clapping lightly and trying to poke her head out of the blind to see, making all kinds of noise.

She asked, “Can I shoot it?”

I told her to text her dad and let him know she was fixing to take a shot. Even with all the movement she was making, the deer were just grazing and never knew we were there sitting in the ground blind.

Getting her ready to take a shot on the deer was not easy. Haley is a small girl who weighs about 60 pounds and is 4.2 feet tall. The only way that she could handle the gun was for her to sit on my lap. She put her arm around the stock, put her chin down, looked through the scope and then placed her finger on the trigger, while holding up the front of the gun the best she could. I placed the stock of the gun in my shoulder, so that she wouldn’t take the full impact of the .308 rifle. Finally, Haley was situated and was ready to take a shot.

Once I took the safety off, I kept whispering to her to take a deep breath and to take her time. I asked her if she could see the deer, and she said she could. Before I knew it, she had squeezed the trigger.

The reaction of the deer was strange, so I figured she had missed the deer. It was walking slowly toward the woods with its tail down. Haley turned and looked at me and said, “I got it! I got it! I saw it jump when I shot.”

I suggested we sit for a little bit, but Haley had no part of that. She wanted out of the blind to find her deer. Then her dad called.

“Dad, I got it! I got it! Come on!”

John and Isaiah came running down the road toward the blind, not knowing there was still another deer in the food plot. It really didn’t matter because Haley was getting up and out of the blind to find her deer.

As John and Isaiah approached, Isaiah asked where the buck was standing when she shot. Haley and I walked to the area, and Isaiah looked down and saw a drop of blood. Both John and I turned and looked at each other and realized that she had hit the buck. We were worried that she had wounded the deer, but Haley was confident that she had made a good shot. So we started looking for more signs and couldn’t find anything. At this point we had to call in their grandpa, Papa Berry.

I told John this was going to be a long night tracking this deer. Hopefully Berry could find it. We were worried it went into the thick stuff, and we wouldn’t be able to find it.

When Berry arrived, Isaiah took him to the spot where he had found the drop of blood. Berry started tracking the deer, from one little drop of blood to the next. Finally at the edge of the woods, Berry found which way it went, so John and Berry walked up a path that had been cut out, which was leading to some thick woods

John yelled, “There it is! There it is!”

Everyone started screaming and jumping up and down and giving high fives all over. John dragged the deer into the open so we could all see that it was an 8-point buck. It was the first deer Haley ever shot.

The deer wasn’t but 25 yards from the blind, but she hit it in the sweet spot. Berry said that’s why the deer acted the way it did. It walked slowly out of the food plot and back into the woods because she had blown the lungs out. We were all amazed at the shot she had taken.

Being in the ground blind with Haley, playing on the tablet, giggling and talking with each other, watching her reaction when the doe came running up to the blind was all so amazing.  Then topping it off with Haley’s first deer ever is priceless.

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