photo of a deer killed by Dakota Sandersphoto of a deer killed by Dakota Sandersphoto of a deer killed by Dakota Sanders

Hunter: Dakota Sanders

Points: 10 (4L, 6R)

County: Monroe

Season: 2019-2020

Hunt Story

I checked cameras earlier in the week and saw that a couple of mature shooter bucks were coming to a food plot regularly at night. We decided to try this food plot in hopes one of the shooters might come to the plot in daylight hours. I have four young children that hunt, and It was my son's turn to shoot on this hunt. So, Dakota (age 10) got to carry the gun this evening to try to get his first deer. We got in a stand overlooking a 4-acre food plot. My son leaned over and said, "Dad, we need to pray for our hunt this evening." I agreed and we asked for God's favor and that God would give us great memories from the afternoon hunt. My youngest daughter, Chesna (age 8) joined us for the hunt. We sat in the stand for an hour and a half playing games, looking at pictures on the phone, and telling stories. About 25 minutes before dark a young 3-pointer came out and started feeding. We watched the buck and noticed he was one of the little yearlings that hung out with two bigger bucks we had on camera. I leaned over and told my son we would pass on this little guy and hope a bigger one would make its way to the food plot before dark. After watching the buck for 5 minutes, movement caught our eyes further into the woods where the yearling emerging from. My heart started racing as this huge buck stepped out at 55 yards and began feeding around. I am not sure who was more excited - my son, my daughter, or myself. All I know is we were all nervous and shaking. My son had never killed a deer, but you would never have guessed that as he eased the safety off and took careful aim. I was filming over his shoulder, and he said he was ready. I gave him the green light, and the gun roared. The buck took the hit and stumbled out of the field. We waited a few minutes and got down to look for blood. We found hair, but no blood. I called a friend who has a tracking dog and he came to my house, and we looked at the video footage of the shot. We both agreed it was a good hit and we went after the buck along with my wife and daughter, my son, my friend (Clint) and his son (Harrison), and the tracking dog (Blue). We all had flashlights lighting up the night darkness as we were following Blue. I am sure we had to wake up some squirrels with the light show we had going. Blood was sparse, but we would find some every now and then to let us know Blue was on the right trail. We tracked the deer 400 yards before walking up on him and finishing him off. It was an incredible experience that created memories that will last a life time. My son got his first deer, and it turned out to be a huge buck that we will put on the wall. To top it all off, I was able to capture the hunt on film for us to watch and relive for years to come.
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