My grandfathers didn’t have the opportunity to introduce me to deer hunting. Grandpa Christy died two years before I was born and Grandpa Potterfield died when I was only five. Also, there weren’t any deer in north Missouri at that time. I was 28 before shooting my first whitetail. So, it was with great pleasure that I got the nod from their parents to guide one of “the boys” on what was to be their first whitetail hunt. They drew straws, and Oliver with the long straw, chose me; Nathaniel was to hunt with Grandma.
Youth deer season in Missouri lasts two days only, one weekend, in late October - just before the firearm season. The boys, with their parents and siblings, arrived after dark Friday, spent the night at “the cabin” and were dressed and ready to go at 6:00 am.
Oliver and I arrived at Raymond’s stand on Hunters Creek Farm at 7:00 am. It was a clear, calm morning, about 45 degrees as we climbed into the
Redneck blind, busting a few deer in the food plot – though it was still full dark. As it got light enough to shoot, there were nine deer in the field, including a
10 pointer. We wanted a nice mature doe for the boys’ first deer, which is the tradition of the family. At 8:00 am Oliver carefully pulled the trigger on a doe at 55 yards, and the hunt was over.
Nathaniel and Grandma didn’t get to hunt together, as she was filming some footage for a TV show. Russell
(dad) was the backup guide, but they didn’t see any does
that morning. It was decided that Nathaniel and I would try that afternoon. We arrived at Daniel’s foot plot, named after one of my dad’s brothers, at 4:45 pm – scaring two fawns out of the field as we climbed up. The first deer came out at five and we saw a total of nine before Nathaniel shot a nice doe at 75 yards – at straight up 6:00 pm.
There’s a lot to do around deer camp besides deer hunting, and the kids did it all; cutting trees, building forts, shooting .22s and romping in the leaves. What a great weekend! Next year, Margaret will hunt for the first time – for a doe; and, Benjamin for the last time – as a youth. The boys will be looking for 10 pointers.