When I was nineteen my uncle had just became engaged to a woman with a six year old son. Young Daniel had expressed a lot of interest in the idea of hunting. So I talked them into bringing him up from Texas for the youth gun season in Oklahoma. After he completed the hunter safety courses required he was ready to go. That year only allowed the harvest of antlerless deer. So I decided we would set up near one of my bow stands in a make shift blind near a feeder that every morning I had bow hunted eight does would frequent around 8:20 A.M..
I spoke to my uncle and Daniels mother trying to determine if he could sit still for the 2 hours from daylight till the time the deer would show up. It also being bow season I elected to also bring my bow along just in case old mossy horns showed up. Just after daylight Daniel probed my side saying there was a deer with big hornsâ to my right. I came to full draw and slowly swung in the direction he had indicated. And once I was on target I was extremely glad I had made it clear he couldn't shoot anything with hornsâ! The deerâ he had seen was a young long horn cow with; just as he had said had big horns 30 yards to my right. That was a close one.
It was still an hour and a half until the usual herd of does would show up and Daniel was getting fidgety. I had him practice shouldering the rifle slowly and steadying across the top of the blind. Even though his shot would be inside of 20 yards I knew this was needed because once the moment occurred and we were surrounded by eyes he had to be slow fluid and efficient. We also had his soon to be step father sitting with us who assured me that Daniels realâ father had let him shoot a few guns before. I had said the deer would show up at 8:20 and at 8:18 I started looking the direction they would come from. Then I whispered into Daniels ear to shoulder the gun a deer was coming that he could shoot. The young nubbinâ buck came straight to the feeder and had no idea we were there! With this being an antlerless season let me explain Oklahoma's definition of antlered; any deer with more than 3 inches of visible antler on either side is an antlered deer so this young buck was legal to take.
I told Daniel to put the cross hairs right behind the shoulder and slowly squeeze the trigger. It was hard for him at first he was afraid of the recoil. We hadn't had time to let him shoot at all before the hunt. He kept telling me to shoot the deer but I told him no it was hisâ job. He finally settled down and the shot echoed across the hillside as the deer crumpled on the spot! It was tough to keep Daniel in the blind until I was sure the deer was down for good, which only took a minute or two! He had made a perfect shot! Once to the deer Daniel stood there eyes wide open and asked well what now!â I told him we would walk back to the truck and get the ATV and come back for his deer. Since the spot was a place I bow hunted every time I had the right wind. I decided to take the deer back to the house for field dressing.
The whole time Daniel was glowing. Once home I guided him through the field dressing process and believe it or not he did very well. We took the deer to the check in station and Daniel made sure everyone in the place knew that was his deer! Then we headed to the grandparents where he, I and uncle posed for what seemed like hundreds of pictures. From that date Daniel has been hooked he has trail cams set up at home in Texas catching pictures of the wild hogs that roam the area. He is now 14 and took his first antleredâ buck this fall a very nice eight point that I let walk with my muzzle loader a few time so that he or my uncle would get a chance at him. Even though I wasn't with him I can only imagine his reaction once the buck was recovered. It's now at the taxidermist getting ready to hang on his walls for years.
Daniel poses with his buck that scores right around 119 inches not a bad first buck at all! Now he is really ready for next season! Maybe I can get a bow in his hands so he gets to experience that trill!