Young Hunter’s Triumph: Hunter Rowan’s Quest For Piebald Buck

Reader Contributed | December 12, 2023

Hunter Rowan with a piebald buck taken in Randolph County on Oct. 22.

By Jamie Rowan  

The opening day of the 2023 general gun season dawned hectic for young Hunter Rowan, a 9-year-old from Wauchula, Fla. Her journey on this memorable weekend was filled with challenges, excitement and ultimately, triumph. Accompanied by her father, Adam, Hunter embarked on a Randolph County hunting adventure that would test her patience and determination.

 A Morning of Setbacks

The morning hunt didn’t start as planned. When Hunter and her father arrived at their designated spot, they were met with an unexpected setback. The popup blind they had prepared the weekend before had been blown 200 yards away into the trees, leaving them with a sense of frustration and uncertainty. The morning was characterized by more noise and movement than anticipated, leaving little opportunity for Hunter to spot any game. Undeterred by the morning’s events, they decided to regroup and try again in the afternoon.

 An Afternoon Full of Promise

The afternoon brought a renewed sense of hope. Yearlings and small bucks were in abundance, promising a fruitful hunting experience. However, as is often the case in hunting, the most significant opportunity came when there was just a sliver of shooting light left. A bachelor group appeared on the scene, standing 300 yards away. Among them was the much-sought-after piebald buck, a magnificent animal the Rowan family had been observing for several years. Regrettably, the bachelor group did not approach any closer, and with daylight dwindling rapidly, Hunter’s chances of harvesting the piebald buck were fading. Nevertheless, she remained hopeful and eager for the next morning’s hunt.

Sunday Morning: A Second Chance

Sunday morning arrived with a renewed sense of determination. Hunter and Adam headed into the blind an hour before shooting light to allow the surroundings to settle. Hunter quickly fell asleep. As the sun began to rise, Adam noticed that the bachelor group had returned to the field, just 150 yards away. Deciding to let Hunter rest until shooting light, Adam kept a close eye on the deer. 

The Triumph of Persistence

Adam woke Hunter as the sun rose and the bachelor group, including the coveted piebald buck, had moved within 150 yards. As she prepared for the shot, an unexpected sound disrupted the tranquility of the morning. A shot from a neighboring property less than 200 yards away spooked the deer, sending them into a panicked dash for safety.

Adam reacted swiftly, loudly mimicking deer noises to stop the piebald buck in its tracks at 206 yards. Hunter, poised and determined, made a quick and accurate shot with her trusty 25-06 rifle. The group scattered in multiple directions, making it challenging to discern the piebald buck’s escape route. 

Hunter and her parents Adam and Jamie on the morning she took her piebald buck.

The Joy of Success

The next 30 minutes were an agonizing wait for Hunter as her father insisted on giving the buck some time. Anxiously, she texted her mother, Jamie, who was in a nearby stand and equally excited to help find the buck. After what felt like an eternity, both of Hunter’s parents joined her in the field to embark on a relatively short tracking job. The piebald buck had run approximately 50 yards and was soon found. The joy and excitement that washed over the Rowan family at that moment were beyond description.

A Fond Farewell

The piebald buck had been a subject of conversation and fascination for the Rowan family for several years. From a small 4-point buck the previous year, they had watched and hoped for its continued growth. The successful harvest of this majestic animal marked a triumphant conclusion to this chapter of their hunting journey. 

Hunter Rowan: A Remarkable Young Hunter

Hunter Rowan’s journey into the world of hunting began at a young age. At just 6 years old, she harvested her first buck, and last year, she shot a magnificent 11-point buck. Hunter’s love for the outdoors extends beyond hunting; she is also an avid turkey hunter and angler. When she’s not in the woods, she enjoys activities such as cheerleading and gymnastics. Hunter is not only a skilled outdoorswoman but also a well-rounded student who is a member of the student council and the National Honor Society.

Hunter Rowan’s pursuit of the piebald buck is a testament to the determination and passion of young hunters. Her journey, filled with challenges and triumphs, exemplifies the profound connection between humans and the natural world. As Hunter continues to grow as a hunter and an individual, her story serves as an inspiration to all who share a love for the great outdoors and the pursuit of dreams.  

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