First of all let me say that I have enjoyed this site immensely over the years
and learned very,very much from alot of you on here and I just wanted to say THANKS!!! Now to the hunt!
I am not a writer so please excuse me if this dont flow freely. I'll start with a little background, I come from a hunting family and for me hunting is my obsession. But my brothers dont feel the same and because of this they dont like hunting because they were forced to go when we were younger. So naturally when I grew up and had children I vowed that I would not make this mistake. I would encourage them in thier interest even if it meant they would not hunt. Until recently this was the case I would ask my son and daughters but they would always tell me "No Thanks, Dad". So imagine my surprise when just a couple months ago my son asked me if he could go hunting with me. I was in TOTAL SHOCK but didnt let him see it I told him sure as calmly as I could but inside I was doing backflips...YESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!! So after accompanying me on several dog and knife hunts for wild boar he asked to hunt deer. The call was made and the hunt was set..The excitement was incredible I couldnt wait.
We only had a month to prepare so I took him shooting which he ended up enjoying very much and in no time he was shooting very well. He was using a 25-06 Rem. Sendero and 115 gr NBT's this load is a 1/4" load or better @ 100 yds so I felt confident with it. By the time we left he was consistently hitting a 2" steel target and 3" steel target @ 300 and 450 yds. Time to hunt!!!!
We arrived on Molokai a day before the hunt and got settled in our buddy who we hunt with stopped in to check us out and to talk a little about the next days hunt. After talking awhile he asked us if we would like to take a quick afternoon drive and see if we could get lucky. We jumped at the chance for an extra afternoon of hunting. We got our stuff ready and when he got back we were on our way. Once in the hunting area we began seeing deer but he wanted to get my son set up on something really nice. Oh yeah before I forget on the hunt with us were my 2 cousins and a couple of very good friends of mine that ive hunted with since I was 6-7 yrs old. After looking over a quite a few deer down on the bottom in the kiawe (mesquite) thickets we decided to head up the mountain and see if we could change our luck.
We drove up to a spot that we've taken many deer over the years and my son and I got out to take a look into a small valley to see if we could see any deer. To our surprise and delight a buck roared in the treeline opposite of where we were going to take a look. My buddy's asked me what I wanted to do and I told them to go ahead and see if they could get that buck as it sounded like a very old one with that I bid them goodluck and went to look over the valley with my sons and cousins. We saw quite a few deer including an outstanding buck with his does but the wind wasnt to my liking and we decided to just watch them and educate my son about them and let him absorb as much as he could. After all the deer fed into the opposite treeline our buddy told us there's another spot further up the road we could check.
As we were walking back to the truck we heard a shot ring out in the treeline my buddy's went in to see if they could get the buck that was doing all the roaring. The anticipation was great, after a few minutes went by without hearing anything else we tried calling them on our radioes. After a few attempts we realized that in the excitement they had left thier radioes behind. We decided they wouold be OK and went to the spot we had planned on earlier. As soon as we crawled over the top to take a look see we spotted deer. We saw smaller bucks and does but nothing to our liking as this area carries some brute's and we knew this. So we waited and watched my son was having the time of his life and I was UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY to share what I love most with my son. All of a sudden we see a line of deer making thier way towards us in the kiawe so we wait and try to figure out wherethey will come out so my son can get set up. We finally figure out where they will be crossing a small opening in the tree's. I get my son set up but he's having a hard time because the wind is blowing kinda hard. The dust is getting in his eyes and due to the terrain the bipod is perfect for prone but the dust is just too much for him. He is not used to this so I try to have him kneel and use the tripod it proves to be just a little to high. Now we have a dilema sp? we start getting antsy as the tail end is coming up and thats where the bucks usually are. My son decides that he'll try prone again so we quickly set him up and do our best to shield him from the wind and dust. The bucks start filing thru the opening and we see that the one in the rear is a very good buck. I tell my son to get ready and instructs him where to shoot and only to shoot if he is confident of the shot I range it right @ 200 yds. The buck steps in the opening and we stop him perfectly broadside. We wait for the BOOM! No BOOM! The buck walks off and my son sighs in disgust as he was still having trouble with the dust getting in his eyes. We tell him not to worry but his face tells us a different story.
At this point one of my buddys comes up the road and tells us they got lucky and got a nice buck. We were all very happy with this and couldnt wait to see what they got. When we got to my other buddy who was waiting next to the road for us with his buck my eyes POPPED! It was far from a nice buck it was BEAUTIFUL!!! All 35 inches of him. They told us that they had succesfully stalked the group of deer and was amazed that it was a group of bucks. They actually was about to take another buck when this one appeared and they decided on him due to his width but the other buck they said was longer WOW! He is 35 inches long and 30 1/2 inches wide Here he is:
My buddy Mike with his buck
Buddy Gary with same buck
Finally me with same buck
I am so glad for my buddy Mike as he is the nicest guy you'll ever meet. He'll give you the shirt off his back and he dont even need to know you we tell him he has a heart as big as his OPU which is Hawaiian for stomach...LOL!
Next day we drop everyone off and head out my son has a few chances in the morning but for one reason or another he didnt get set up in time. Or the deer showed up somewhere else other than where we expected them but thats hunting and we had a great time nonetheless. When we meet the others for lunch we are greeted with smiling faces and another bruiser buck. Well it seems that the luck rubbed off on my buddy Gary as well. They told us they were overlooking a small valley watching quite a few deer when a buck came out the tree's and started raking a nearby tree. They set up and just as He was about to squeeze the trigger they noticed movement off to the right. When this bruiser came out I guess the tree raking had peaked his interest and he came out to see what all the noise was about. Well needless to say my buddy Gary got on him and my buddy Mike ranged him told Gary the range was 226 yds to the buck and Gary dumped him. He also taped out @ 35 inches and was 27 inches wide. I couldnt be more happier for a pair of guys then them they are truly deserving people it couldnt have happened to a better pair of guys no doubt. Well here he is:
Sorry this is the only pic I took that came out clear arghhhhhhhhh!!!
My cousin also took a fine buck during the morning hunt with long eye guards but I dont have a pic of his buck. Too bad!
In the afternoon we headed out to the fields to see if we could catch some sleeping under the tree's and we did. We spotted a few deer under a small berry tree and decided i'd take my son and see if we could get a shot. we got to about 40 yds to the tree and could only see the head of a spike. My son could not see them so my friend and I set him up and told him where to watch and we were going to see if we could make the deer stand so he could get a shot. We called out and the deer stood and he shot, at first we couldnt tell what happened but we knew there was a small buck in the group but he didnt run out with the rest of the deer. So we walked up to the tree to see what happened. Well we were shocked to see the buck down under the tree and on further inspection realized my son shot it in the head. At that instant I was the happiest dad on the planet my son had taken his first big game animal on his first ever hunt. I shook his hand and squeezed him so hard I wanted to cry. Everyone came running and congratulated him I was so proud of him. His wasnt a monster like the others but we all couldve cared less it was HUGE to us and thats all that mattered. Heres my son with his first ever big game animal.
The next day my buddy dropped us off at the same spot we were the previous morning and my son made a beautiful 180 yd shot on his second deer of the trip a nice spike. He has made me very,very proud and I can only hope that his love for hunting and shooting continues to grow.
My son Hunter and his spike
All in all it was a great hunt and wonderful time spent with great family and friends and I look forward to doing it again. Thanks so much to Len for such a wonderful and awesome site and Thank You to everyone here who makes this site what it is a GREAT place to learn and share our love of hunting and shooting and of the the animals we pursue.
Safe and Happy Hunting and Shooting to you ALL,