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Success at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA youth hunt

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Recently I took my grandson Baylor Allen to the youth hunt hosted at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA. Also attending was my friend, Torrie Eaton and her daughter Avery. We all had a blast and the details of that experience will be featured in my blog Public Ramblings in the next few days.

Avery, the only female hunter, took the biggest deer of the weekend.

Torrie recaps Avery's thrilling hunt here:

This is the story of our hunt from the 1st day- The 1st evening, we got on our stand at around 4 or so. It was very HOT and the sun was beaming on the back of our necks. The mosquitos were horrible!!! Of course Avery couldn't keep still but luckily, I brought her Nintendo DS. We sat for a while with no action, except for the coon that walked right by our stand and the two or three rabbits that were in the lanes feeding.... UNTIL...... 5:25. Then, we saw a small fawn come walking down the lane. I remembered what they said about fawns, to make sure there were NO SPOTS, so I wanted to be sure. Avery was so excited and ready to shoot, but I had to make sure, so I looked at it through the scope. I saw a lot of white, but it was a little too far to really see, so I told her we wouldn't shoot it and of course, she was disappointed. She practiced aiming at it and looking at it through her scope, and then it laid right down at the end of the lane. It bedded down, chewing it's cud for about 15 minutes and then got up. It kept walking off, then re-appearing. So this went on until around 6:15 or so. Then another one came out. It was it's twin. They ate and walked around until around 6:30, then the mama came out. I told Avery, 'there is the Mama.” They eventually walked away. She was so disappointed! She cried! We heard several other gunshots around and every time she would slap her leg with a very disappointed look, like 'Aww man, why not me?' I was upset that she didn't get a shot on the doe, but I'm glad because it was a little too far for that .223 in my opinion. They were about 120 yds away. So after they walked off around 6:45PM, I looked in the opposite direction and just as it was getting dark, I saw a bigger deer walk across the lane. It didn't stick around, and if I had to guess, it had to be a buck! So we saw 4 deer that evening.  Anyway, that was day one. October 14th, evening hunt.
       The next morning, we were on the stand for 5:30 AM. We watched some ducks fly by as the early morning light started to filter through the trees. At around 6:40 AM, I looked to my left and saw a huge black boar hog crossing the main right away. I picked Avery's rifle up to get her in position and checked the scope. It was all fogged up. I hurriedly wiped it off with my vest and by the time I got it up and got Avery in position, it had already crossed. So we sat in anticipation for a few more minutes as I encouraged her to keep quiet and hang on and not to give up, things were moving and it was still early. So we waited until around 6:55 A.M. ,then I looked to the right and saw a cow horn spike walking up the lane. Slowly he walked, not even having the slightest hunch we were even there. He fed, then walked a little. Then when he got about 60 yds away, he turned as if he were going to walk in the woods. I had the gun up and Avery was ready to shoot as I whispered, 'You got him in your crosshairs, is it behind his shoulder?' 'Yeah, she whispered.' 'I got him.' I told her to squeeze the trigger and not jerk it. She kept telling me it wasn't going off, but we realized she wasn't squeezing hard enough. I thought my heart was going to pound out of my chest!!! Talk about buck fever!! I don't think I get that nervous when I'm shooting at a deer with my bow! Talk about an adrenaline rush!! So again, I told her to squeeze the trigger. With nerves shot, she tells me, 'Mama, it's not going off.' The deer started to walk away and I told her, 'If you don't shoot now, he's going to get away.' So I plugged my ears again for the 3rd time, then finally, POW! The buck did a mule kick and I knew she had made a kill shot! We sat there excited and I told her 'Good job my love, Mama's proud of you!' ' Good shot,  you got him!!' Of course she wanted to go look for it right away. We sat there until around 8:25, then at around 40 yds, the same two spotted fawns that we saw the night before came out, feeding in the morning dew with the two rabbits they had to share their breakfast with. We watched them feed as Avery practiced aiming her gun on them again, but of course I told her we weren't going to shoot them. It was a good thing I held off the night before because at 40 yds in the daylight, I could see they both had spots. They were sure pretty though, and helped the time go by as we anticipated the find of her cow horn spike she shot earlier. Then we heard a grunt. I knew it was the mother doe calling her babies. We thought she would come out, but she never did. We heard her several times grunt at her babies, but they just fed along, ignoring their mother's calls. After that, we heard a loud crash, like a tree was being cut down, then a loud squeal. It was some hogs, rooting around nearby. I picked Avery's rifle up again and aimed it in the direction we heard the sound and told her to get ready, but here again, nothing came out. So the two fawns were still there feeding, but it was nearing 9:00, so I decided to get down to start looking for her deer. We got up and the two fawns looked up at us and with flags up, gave their infantile snorts as if to announce something's weird here. It was so cute! They took off as we got down from the stand and we started our hunt for the blood trail, only there wasn't one to be found! I was really scared we weren't going to find the deer, but luckily, I went down another trail I thought he could've went down and saw a big, white belly laying there. I told Avery, 'I see a white belly Avery!!' She got all excited and ran over. 'You found him Mama?', she said excitedly! 'Yeah!', I said. Come get with your deer. And the endless picture taking started. I drug the deer to the end of the right away and we heard the side-by-side coming closer. They stopped just as I was getting to the end of the right away, and was shocked to see me dragging the buck down the lane. The game warden started taking pictures of me and Avery, sweaty and horrible as I may have looked, nothing could replace the sense of pride I felt as my little girl got her first horned deer(not her first deer, because she got a button buck a few years before). I was so proud of her and was sorry my husband couldn't be here to share in the moment. I couldn't wait to talk to him and tell him the story. I just hope Avery has the passion for hunting like her Mama does. That would make it all worth while for me!! There is nothing more satisfying or rewarding than seeing one of your children successful at something that you are so passionate about. I was so glad I got to experience that with her! Thank you Lord for a successful hunt, endless action, and most importantly, for the learning experience and the memories we made together that weekend!
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Re: Success at the Atchafalaya Delta WMA youth hunt
Great deer for the child but you should be teaching her to never have a rifle barrel pointed at anyone you don't wish to harm. Your rifle should be pointed in any other direction.
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