Oh, Man! Where do I begin? Alot of you guys have been following Kody's first year of hunting on here and it has been exciting, trying, frustrating, rewarding, etc... In a nutshell, it's been a roller coaster. First off, for those of you who don't know, Kody is 10. Also, those of you who have been following his hunts knows that my dad, who is 71, was along every step of the way. Just like in the early season when I got my buck, my dad was doing all the leg work checking cameras, moving blinds, putting out feed, etc... Pap really wanted Kody to get a deer!
We also had my 9 year old, Klay along for the journey on many hunts, but the last week or so we decided to focus on big brother exclusively.
Rewind to weekend number two of archery season. We are in the very spot I shot my buck. I nice 8 pointer comes in, probably a 120". Kody is using a crossbow and sticks the buck in the shoulder. It immediately begins raining and rains for three days straight. We never did find the deer. Kody was dejected, but he vowed to keep moving on. We still stayed with buck only and 6 point or better as our goal. As the days passed on he passed on many chances of doe, spikes, and a 4 point several different times.
We had several close calls. The evening before gun season we had the big 10 (145") coming in and it froze up just out of range. It finally knew something wasn't right and bolted. Possibly from Kody squirming because he had to pee. Yesterday evening, we put a stalk on a nice 7 pointer but it busted us before we got into range.
Now today... Kody is sitting up front in the blind. My dad is behind him and I'm to his right. About 4:30 a half racked 4 point comes in. He mills around for a bit, gets nervous, and bolts. We didn't want a half racker anyway. About 10 minutes later two doe pop out. They feed around in circles about 50 yards away. Kody begins bugging me. "Can I shoot one?" Me, I'm still holding out hope that 7 from last night comes back. I ask him if he's sure that's what he wants. After some discussion, we decide to wait 5 minutes to see if the buck shows. I can see Kody getting impatient. I'm torn because we don't see many doe on this property. I swear, there are more bucks than doe. Maybe that's good, hell I don't know.
It's getting close to 5:00 and I tell Kody to go for it. I hand him the shooting stick... then the gun. I get my phone out to try to get video. Kinda far, but I got it. He steadies himself and BOOM! Smoke...
I see the doe mule kick and run over the hill where she came from. We wait about 10 minutes, which was exructiating because every 10 seconds he wants to go after the deer. When we head over to the point of impact we see good blood. I go to the edge of the hill and see a deer standing down there. It's a doe, but I'm not sure if it's the one he hit or if it was the other one. It finally takes off and I head down. There is a bloody bed and blood in the tracks of the fleeing deer. Damn! It was her and I could've finished her.
I called the property owner and he gladly swung down to help grabbing our lights on the way. We begin a slow track job, but keep bumping the deer. We can't wait because it's snowing like crazy and it's covering up the tracks. Long story short, we finally came up on it in the deepest of the deep hollows. Then, after dragging it out, realize it's now 7:00 and the only place open to check in is Knoxville Carry Out which is 45 minutes away.
So, I'm back and tired, but thrilled for Kody. I'm also thrilled for my dad because he got to be with us for the whole season. He gets around great for 71, but I gotta admit, I was a bit scared during this track job. He kept falling behind and.... well, I was just worried. But, we all made it out and we got some great pics and memories.
Oh, by the way... I can't believe that deer went as far as it did. His shot was damn near perfect on the right side of the deer. I think in the pic you can see the exit wound was a little back. To say the least, I'm a proud papa right now!
My dad just called me and asked if we could retake the pics tomorrow. He said he looked like he lost his best friend. I think he looks whipped from the tracking.
So we will get a good pic tomorrow, blow it up, and hang it in Kody's room.