Hunter: Emmalee Brantley
Points: 9 (4L, 5R)
This hunt was only Emmalee's second hunt in which she was shooting instead of observing. On Saturday afternoon (youth opener) she successfully harvested her first (and second) deer (does) ever with well-placed shots. She attended homecoming at her church on Sunday morning. During church we received a cell camera photo of this buck just 50 yards from her stand. Emmalee was a little disappointed that she had missed her opportunity. Sunday afternoon was her sister's (Bailee) turn to go hunting, but she decided to stay at home after lunch and help her mother around the house. Emmalee was excited and kept saying that she hoped that she would see a big buck. We got into the stand pretty early and had some activity right away with a doe and small buck feeding. The next couple hours were pretty uneventful and I (Emmalee's father) kept reminding her that the nature of hunting is that anything can happen at any time whether good or bad. About 7:00 a doe came running up out of a bottom and immediately we heard a grunt in the bottom behind the doe. In the blink of an eye, the buck burst out of the bottom and crossed the logging road. He ran the doe for a bit and they both headed toward the food plot that we were overlooking. The doe entered the plot and paused for just a moment and Emmalee got positioned on the doe, hoping that the buck would stop in the same area. The doe trotted away and we could hear the buck coming. He trotted into and out of the food plot despite a mouth bleat trying to stop him. We both exhaled in disappointment as they both vanished. Just a couple seconds later the buck re-entered the plot at the far end and stopped looking for the doe. Emmalee's gun was still positioned and she only needed to make a minor adjustment. I confirmed that she was on the buck, right behind the shoulder, and gave the green light for a shot. After the shot, I saw the buck run a short distance and lost sight of him. I asked if she was sure that she was on him and made a good shot. Emmalee said that she saw the flash and the buck turn around through the scope. She was right, as he crashed less than 20 yards from the shot.