Hunter: Riles Riner
Points: 10 (5L, 5R)
My son, (Riles), and I made it to the stand Thanksgiving afternoon around 4 p.m. We were not seeing any activity until about 5:15, when I noticed a 10-point checking/making a scrape along a little hardwood bottom about 125 yards away. We were sitting in a double ladder stand, with a cloth covering around it. I told him to be very still and quite. The deer continued along this hardwood line and went out of site behind some thick cover. After about 5-10 minutes of not seeing him, a doe came out in the food plot. I told Riles to get his Savage Axis XP Compact 243 up and be ready, that the 10-point will probably come out behind the doe. After about 5 minutes, he did just that. There is a pine tree about 50 yards down the edge of the food plot with a low limb sticking out. I asked him if he was sure he could see over the limb and make a good shot. He told me that he could see good. I said OK, take your time and deep breathe and slowly squeeze the trigger when you are ready. The buck stopped broadside and Riles made the shot. He asked me if he hit him, and I said yes but not sure how good. We climbed down from the stand and went to the spot that was 113 yards away. We found blood, and good blood in the direction where he ran. After about 30 yards, the blood started getting less and less, and it was getting darker and darker. I told Riles that we needed to back out and come back tomorrow morning. We slept on it, (Riles asked numerous times if we will find him), and I told him I think that we will. We got back out there to this spot at 8 a.m., Friday morning. My dad and mother-in-law also helped us. We got on the blood trail, leaving orange ribbon behind as we worked through the woods. This took approximately 1.5 hours and we found the big buck at approximately 9:30 a.m. Riles did make a good shot, this buck just had a strong will to live. After some big hugs, we drug the deer to the nearest trail and took more pictures. We then loaded him up and took him back to the river cabin so his mom, brother, sister and my mom could see him and also take more pictures. This turned out to be the best hunt and experience I could ask for with my son. Riles was super excited to kill a great buck.