This past weekend was one for the memory books. I was able to take my wife on her first deer hunt. She didn’t grow up in a hunting household, and has slowly been getting involved in it more since we got together. About 6 years ago she went on her first duck hunt and has been hooked on waterfowl hunting ever since. She is always looking forward to waterfowl season now.
A couple years ago I bought her, her own rifle. A tack driving TC Venture in a 243. It’s a sweet shooting gun and I have been know to take it to the deer woods every now and then. She can consistently group this gun well under MOA out to 200 yards.
Last Friday we loaded up the gear, two toddlers and headed to my brothers house which is a few hours away. Trying to get up there around 2pm so we could drop the kids off at my Moms and head to the deer blind for an evening hunt.
Around 3:00 we got dressed and drove over to one of the chunks of land that had been holding a number of bucks. A perfect spot for someone wanting to shoot their first deer as they come out into the wheat field and feed for a couple hours each evening. With the rut going, we knew there would be a chance for a big one, but most of the bucks on this piece are 2-3 year olds. We are thinking the bigger ones might be getting poached as the deer feed very close to the main road after dark.
After pulling through the gate, we had a short drive, then about a 400 yard walk to the blind. As we were approaching the blind, I looked into the wheat field and noticed a deer was already feeding in the middle. I could tell it was a buck and asked my wife if that was the one she wanted. After looking through her binoculars, she opted to pass and wait for a different one.
Once getting settled into the blind, she practiced holding steady on a few different trees to try and get comfortable with the height of the windows. Within about 10 minutes of sitting, the does started to funnel out of the trees and onto the field. Multiple small groups were jumping the fence and working their way into the wheat. A second buck jumped the fence and a few minutes later another. I noticed a couple deer coming in from our right side and there was another buck with that group of does. In about a 30 minutes span, we had 35 deer out in front of us from 20 yards to 100 yards. She was looking the bucks over, but wasn’t wanting to tag any of the ones in the field. Her words were “I’m going to hunt the way you do and wait on a bigger one, even if that means not getting one tonight”
I’m glad she waited on “a bigger one”. It wasn’t 10 minutes after she said that, that I noticed movement working through the trees. Once I saw the antlers, I told her “there’s your bigger one”. His does jumped the fence and soon after he followed their path as to not let them get to far away. The does were working away from us, and I told her “if that’s the one you want, get steady on the buck and take your time, as he’s going to get farther away. He’s 250 yards. If you don’t feel comfortable, don’t take the shot”. What seemed like eternity was probably on minutes as I waited for him to turn broadside and hear the sound of her gun. Once he turned broadside, my wife let the 243 do it’s purpose. I heard the sound of a solid hit and watched the buck run about 50 yards and pile up.
I couldn’t be more happy for her, it’s one heck of a first buck. It’s a hunt I’ll never forget. She’s told me she’s ready for next season already.
The buck that was in the field when we were walking to the blind
A couple of the other bucks