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Super proud Daddy moment

bottomtimebottomtime Senior MemberMonticello,FLPosts: 497 Deckhand
Today was an awesome end to 2016. My hunting buddy and oldest son, Mason, was able to connect on his first deer this morning. He turned 8 in September and has been hunting with me since he was 4. Last season he began carrying his own rifle after he proved to me that he understood the great responsibility of practicing firearm safety and after showing that he had the fundamentals of marksmanship down. He has been shooting my .357 Mag carbine for a couple of years and is quite confident at 50 yards and under.

Our morning started out in Gadsden County with an early visit from a doe. It was too dark for an attempt with iron sites, but I slid my scoped 30-30 out the window and Mason said he could see her through the scope. As soon as I cocked the hammer back, she bolted out of the patch hearing the click.

About an hour later, we had a pickle fork spike come into the patch on our left, but he quickly turned and started walking away from us. He was about 75 yards out when he turned and started grazing. I put the 30-30 out the window and Mason found him in the crosshairs. After a couple of minutes, he whispered that he couldn't hold the crosshairs steady because he was shaking like a leaf! After a few minutes the buck left the patch and the disappointment on Mason's face was heartbreaking. We discussed how he had taken the responsible course of action since he didn't feel he could make a solid, ethical shot.

Another hour passed and I noticed a doe entering the far left end of the patch. She was followed by 6 more does that took the next half hour grazing their way toward us. Mason put the rifle out the window and was again shaking like crazy. We whispered back and forth and worked our way through the jitters. Three of the does managed to graze right in front of our stand and Mason drew down on the largest one. He hesitated and then whispered that he was "scared" I asked if he was scared of the rifle (he had never shot the 30-30) or if he was scared to shoot the deer. He said he was scared he would miss the deer or wound it. I encouraged him to take his time, think about everything we had talked about and that I had taught him. Take a couple deep breaths, settle the crosshairs, gradually squeeze the trigger and believe in his abilities. As he lowered his head back to the scope, the lead doe saw the movement and perked up in an alert stance. I whispered to him that he had to take the shot now or never and I saw his finger move to the trigger. Just as my eyes got back on the doe, I heard the shot and watched her roll over and lunge into the brush. Mason looked up, looked at me and screamed, "I got her!" After a few congratulatory hugs, fist bumps and back slaps, we calmed ourselves and Mason offered thanks for the opportunity and for the life he had taken. Hearing him do so brought a big old boy to tears. We climbed out and recovered his doe in short order.

As we walked out to get the truck, he informed me that he wanted to hunt with the 30-30 from now on. I guess I can live with that.

Replies

  • trout069trout069 Senior Member look at gps and tell mePosts: 5,890 Admiral
    Congrats to y'all!guess you will be hunting with a new rifle.
  • KlingerKlinger Senior Member Eufaula, AlabamaPosts: 2,234 Captain
    :thumbsup
    In my many years, I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame,two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.-- John Adams
  • FamilyfisherFamilyfisher Senior Member Posts: 3,222 Captain
    Wonderful way to end the year! Congratulations and best wishes for many more of those opportunities.
    Proverbs 13:3
  • billybobbillybob Senior Member Walnutgrove,GaPosts: 926 Officer
    Congratulations on a job well done
  • tapatetapate Senior Member SowegaPosts: 5,263 Admiral
    Wow ! Nice.

    My oldest started going with me this year at 4 and Santa brought him a red Ryder for Christmas... he's hooked!
  • micci_manmicci_man Senior Member Somewhere in FLPosts: 15,001 AG
    That's my boy!! Congrats again young man!!

    I have to tell y'all something about this little fella.... He started tagging along with us in the duck boat at 5. This boy has proved at a very young age that he has a love for the outdoors and has the drive to get up early, sit in very cold conditions and be very patient. His daddy is teaching him well and I couldn't be more proud of this young man.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • CranfieldCranfield Senior Member Posts: 1,584 Captain
    What an excellent story and a great achievement for a young shooter, mighty congratulations are in order.
    It sounds as though we will be hearing a lot more about his escapades
  • hooknredshooknreds Senior Member Redfish PointPosts: 2,461 Captain
    tapate wrote: »
    Wow ! Nice.

    My oldest started going with me this year at 4 and Santa brought him a red Ryder for Christmas... he's hooked!
    That's when I started my boys as well with them carrying the same weapon! Shortly after I let them carry my old 30/30 (unbeknown gets to them, unloaded of course) just to muzzle direction and gun safety.

    Congrats to Mason, I'm certain he's hooked now. Sitting here in the rain in a pop up blind with my youngest!
  • bottomtimebottomtime Senior Member Monticello,FLPosts: 497 Deckhand
    hooknreds wrote: »
    That's when I started my boys as well with them carrying the same weapon! Shortly after I let them carry my old 30/30 (unbeknown gets to them, unloaded of course) just to muzzle direction and gun safety.

    Congrats to Mason, I'm certain he's hooked now. Sitting here in the rain in a pop up blind with my youngest!

    Year before last I started letting Mason carry his .22 Chipmunk when we went to the woods. It was unloaded of course, but it gave us a chance to work on firearm safety, muzzle control, etc. Last year, about half way through the season I let him start carrying the 357 Mag carbine that he was shooting at home. We had a couple of opportunities that didn't quite pan out for him to get a shot last season, but he never got discouraged. His patience is something I wish I had. He is glowing knowing that dinner tonight will be provided courtesy of his deer.
  • skyway andeskyway ande Senior Member St. petePosts: 3,807 Captain
    That's a danged cool deer hunt!

    Congratulations to Mason!
    God, save the South!
  • stanwillstanwill Senior Member Lamont,Fl./Lanark VillagePosts: 405 Deckhand
    :thumbsup
    Just an old ,fat man that likes to fish
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