Two weeks ago my 8 year old son shot his first deer. Nice doe, 65 yards, .243, just the way I planned it. Tonight, after watching him play a great soccer game, we hustled to the farm, changed clothes in the car and essentially ran to our favorite stand laughing about the deer we were jumping. The deal was, 100 yards and in, his shot, outside of that my shot. Rut is in full swing here in SC. We watched a buck exit the field as we sat down, watched a doe come and go and, after a grand total of 20 minutes in the stand, had a beautiful 8 point step out 85 yards away. No way for a quick shot and the buck walked behind some brush. We watched as he reappeared further away. I knew full and well the deer was too far and, like a tremendous idiot, I let my son take the shot. The good news is he missed. I got caught up in the moment, disregarded my plans completely and put my son in a poor situation. Would it have been cool if he made the shot?? Of course. However, the downside greatly outweighed the upside and i still let it happen. We got lucky in that my son didn't wound the deer ( I spent close to an hour checking and double checking) but we were both disappointed to say the least. He was crushed. I let my buddy down, don't make the same mistake. When you have a plan, especially with a youth hunt, stick with it. After a year on this site i have picked up some tremendous advice on a variety of subjects, including youth hunts. A common thread has been--slow down, they don't have to succeed the very first time, etc. In the heat of the moment, its hard to follow such good advice but do so and you will be better off!!
Good advice, thanks for sharing. I enjoy hunting with my kids age 7 and 11. I have found myself in similar situations. I get more enjoyment out of my kids success than my own and therefore put more pressure on myself to help them. Sounds like you both learned something from the experience. I know I learn something new just about everytime I go hunting.
If Obama was the answer how stupid was the question?
Sounds to me like you are just human, and a caring father. No harm was done, let your son know you feel you made a bad choice , and go on with your hunt. We all learn something each time we hunt, so talk to him about it and then go get that buck.
As for the rifle, no question it is capable of 200 or more yards. I have let my son shoot a .223 prone out to 400 yards and he did very well. The difference in this case is that its out of a stand, on a rail, at a deer, at an angle, etc., all of which contributed to the constraints I set up. Just a different deal than simple target shooting. Good news is a lesson learned and there is a really nice buck out there still doing his part for the herd!! Also, this morning he asked if hunting was in our weekend plans and indeed it is. This time, we will follow the "plan your shots, shoot your plans" advice!!