Monday, November 16, 2009

Josh Shoots his first Deer

Shazam! After a long bus ride and late night reunion, we hit the fields right at shooting light and Josh got a buck!

its a BIG buck! Yeah!

There was a group of deer out front of Grandma's house for the last 3 days, every morning and we had seen this buck with them. We'd looked at him in the dark and he seemed like a decent 3-point, but nothing special.

The plan for the morning was to have Josh sit where the deer had been crossing out of the fields into the sage brush, while the rest of us pushed the deer to him. We saw the group out front, and as an afterthought Josh jumped in the van to drive out the driveway and look at him.

We suggested he pass on this buck (thinking it was smaller than it turned out) so we could go on with the hunt. Instead, Josh slipped out of the van and looked him over while we continued to creep forward along the driveway so the deer didn't spook. He looked at them for a long time - I even holler'ed to him to get back in the van and lets go.

Instead, he raised the rifle, and after another long pause... BAM!

Ok, now he was committed and I video'ed the deer as they ran deeper into the field. Josh started running after them, and his buck went down! yeah!

After parking the van at the house I could hear him and his brother whooping it up out in the field.
I was excited for him and made a mental note not to be disappointed in him shooting a small 3-point deer.
Wow - were we excited when we all saw how big he was! The buck has real heavy antlers and a HUGE body. Big Roman nose on him, too. Definitely a mature buck. Not a MONSTER, like the magazines have, but definitely in that class of animal! Eye-guards on both sides, and a double-eye-guard on one side. A solid 6x5 buck with heavy, symmetric antlers!
The adrenalin was running high. Years of pent-up expectations finally came true.
We got WY deer tags so the kids wouldn't have to shoot the first animal they saw with antlers. So what did he do? Josh shot the first buck he saw - less than 5 minutes into his hunt!
We're sure glad he did!

Josh gutted his animal with alittle coaching.
What is that between your eyes???
Scope Rash!
He did a great job gutting the animal, too.
The deer was really easy to load in a pickup - it was right in front of Grandma's house.
These kids think Deer Hunting is easy like this...
I made Josh hike for 4 hours later that day, just so he felt like he really had to work for his deer! JK!

Stinkin' spoiled kids... !

Scope Rash! In the heat of the moment, the scope smacked him between the eyes when he shot. Split open his forehead a bit - not bad and he never complained!

While not a wide rack, the heavy antlers measured 23" across.

We easily hung up the deer with the tractor, skinned it and washed it down.
Careful not to use too much water - the less water on the meat the better.
Keep that meat clean, too!

Now, every time we leave or drive into Grandma's driveway, we have to hear "right HERE is where I shot my big deer!"
We told him he must be living right...

Now that Josh shot his deer... all the rest of ours are shrinking!
Here you can see the difference between Josh's deer and the one I shot the first day. Look at the size difference in the head!

Another comparison shot.
Yeah, we took alot of pictures of his deer! The first one is free - the rest of the pictures are going to cost him!
One shot - right through the lungs. The buck ran 40 yards and piled up.
Way to go, Josh!
That night we fried up some of the steaks from the backstrap to eat with our hamburbers.
Fantastic! Definitely the BEST deer meat we ever had. Should be, too - those deer have been raised on grain!

A great day and a great (short) hunt!

Now - on to more vacation!