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Daughters First Deer!

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Unread 01-10-2008, 12:06 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 97
First off, thanks for the kind words! We are obviously very proud of her ans she is pretty proud of herself!

I think she appreciates it a lot because we did a lot of practicing until I was 100% confident she could make an ehtical shot!

I hunt all over the place but, that is on one of our South Texas ranches and a 223 is perfectly legal. I personally do not recommend shooting a 223 for whitetail but, sometimes you have to bend the rules. Shot placement is more important to me than anything and knowig she was able to make the shot allowed me to go ahead and use the 223.

Another factor is that we shoot 100's of deer every year and I have a top notch tracking dog should things go bad. I did not need him on this doe but, I did cut him out and let him find her 20 yards up in the brush just to make darn sure we were able to make a recovery.

I have it all on video and a soon as I put it in a watchable format I will post it up so you can check it out.

Also a quick word on guns for little ones. My daughter is pretty darn tall for her age and I still had trouble fitting everything on different rifles for her. I started with a cricket and found out that it is not a great gun for really little ones. In order to fire the cricket you have to pull the firing pin back towards te butt of the gun. This is fine but, my daughter knicker her thumb a couple of times. Her hands were small enough to slide under he cocked pin as she was trying to hold the rifle and still reach the trigger. It is hard to explain but, the first time ou look at one in person you will see the finger pincher!

What I ended up doing was taking a Ruger 10/22 and cutting it down to fit. No 3yr old needs more than 1 shot at a time so I only load 1 shell. It is a little more time consuming but, safe. This way there is no moving parts at the rear of the reciever. This was her training rifle and she actually killed a hog with it this summer! I had to use the dog but, by golly we recovered it. It was about a 45-50lb boar. I will post pictures when I am back in town.

Also, something else that really helped me as a child and I have now passed on is a little game we play while practicing with the rifle. I ALWAYS load the rifle. In doing this she only actually gets a shell 40-60% of the time. This stops any flinching or anticipation that the rifle will go off. She never knows if that rifle will bark when she squeezes the trigger. This has helped her develop a very nice and easy trigger pull which is very important in my opinion. It is also a little fun for both of us and breaks up the shooting which is important at her age!

I am actually down at a ranch right now working on fire breaks so we can do soe controlled burns, when I get back I will post up some pictures when I get back!
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Unread 01-10-2008, 02:14 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Sheridan, WY
Posts: 432
Originally Posted by mattj View Post
With respect, do you know where Qzilla and his daughter were hunting? If not, how could you possibly know what the laws are there?
sorry, i just read texas laws and 22 cals for big game are legal. With all do respect I still think its a wee bit small for big game hunting.
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Unread 01-10-2008, 03:25 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by diderr View Post
With all due respect I still think its a wee bit small for big game hunting.
I concede that you may have a point, but I very much believe that shot placement is worth a whole pile of caliber.

If I have to pick between shot placement with a smaller caliber I can handle, and a larger "adequate" caliber that will make me flinch (because I am 4 yrs. old) ... I'd go for the humane placement kill every time. In point of fact, we have obvious proof (in the form of a fantastic picture) that .223 is quite sufficient.

Generally speaking, I wouldn't recommend that people use .223 to go deer hunting. Having said that, this is clearly not a "general" situation given the amount of training and practice that went into the hunt.

Similarly, I would not generally recommend that people shoot at big game past 250-300 yards. That's because most "hunters" really shouldn't! Again, having said that, the people on these forums are very able to shoot at 4x-8x that distance ... because they put the training time in.

Everything is relative...

Qzilla: Thanks for the impromptu review on crickett rifles - I have been looking at buying three of them for my kids, but it sounds like I might be better off looking at a more custom solution. At the very least, I need to do some more homework.

Best regards,
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Unread 01-10-2008, 04:02 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Missoula, MT USA
Posts: 278
Originally Posted by Big Sky View Post
Two things are exceptionally cool about this hunt. One is being there to assist your deer with her first deer. (Great photo too, by the way.) Two, I find it especially neat that you can let your child hunt at such a young age. What I wouldn't give to be able to let my kids hunt when I felt they were ready rather than the state mandated age of 12. My 10 year old daughter is my favorite hunting partner. She can out shoot all her brothers and a fair number of adults I know. She loves to hunt and be outdoors. It drives us both crazy that she still has to wait two years to hunt deer. Pretty much every week she gives me a count down until she's 12. Right now the count is 1 year, 2 months, and 3 weeks. Yeah, I'd say she's anxious. All that aside I think it's fantastic that you and your daughter were able to successfully get her first deer. Great job to both of you!
I hear you on this and there are a lot of people who feel the same way. Better to let them hunt at a younger age and keep the sport alive and more kids out of trouble. Don't know how I'd feel if I knew there were 3 year olds hunting in the same area as me.
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Unread 01-10-2008, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 1,891

Have to agree with Q on the cricket rifles my kids had the same problems. I went to an AR-15 with a .22 RF upper and a colaspable stock. The col stock allows for short LOP and is easy to shoot. I also loaded mags with 1 round each when the kids were very small. It is amazing what the little ones can do if you give them a chance and some of your time.
Shawn Carlock

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Unread 01-10-2008, 11:00 AM
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1

I was thinking, wow, now that's what I need in a daughter-in-law. Lol. Good job! Three sons and they all like squirrel hunting. No big game hunters in the lot.
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Unread 01-13-2008, 08:12 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Texas born and raised
Posts: 752
Great going to the both of you. I know how hard it is to get the fit down for the little onnes. I had the same trouble with my grandson. Luckily for me the Ruger Compact was only a tad long when he started and fits him real good now.

Keep up the good work and enjoy every minute of it.
Mike / Tx

My Photo's

"Heck why would I lie, most folks don't believe the truth when I tell them"
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