It was a late start for sure, the day before had been extremely exhausting and quite frankly I still had a bad headache from glassing so hard trying to find Alex his first legal buck. We had spotted doe after doe but nothing with a horn, nothing. So, a little extra sleep this morning was needed by all. Besides, I could look up and see that the mountains were completely fogged in which would make it impossible to spot animals.
We got into the hills at about 10:30am as the fog began to lift and I felt good about the day. Alex had brought along one of his little wrestling buddies, so this was sure to be interesting. As we started up the mountain through the dense aldars and brush along side of the road I caught something out of the corner of my eye. The second take revealed a deer standing broadside in a small overgrown cat road that connected to the main road. As I saw that he had enough horns over his head to be legal, I knew better than to slow down. I told the boys calmly (not to induce buck fever) that "there was a buck back there." I drove up the road 50 yards and parked the pickup. I told Alex the plan and put a cartridge in the chamber. I told him not to get too excited because the deer probably would not still be there. With the scope covers off, power on 3x and earmuffs ready we slowly walked back down the main road. As we peeked into the cat road, the buck was still there frozen broadside looking at us! Now, my custom braked 300RUM is between 11 and 12 lbs, so I knew that he would need help with an off hand shot (which is all we had). So, at 30 yards from the deer I knelt down, supported the rifle stock near the bipod with one hand and plugged (very tightly) my right ear with the other and told him to flip the safety off and "put it behind his shoulder." The gun went off and I could see the deer was hit good as he turned and moved away. We gave it a few minutes and that was all Alex could take. I let him find and follow the blood. There was LOTS, so I knew it would be easy for him. After 50 yards or so Alex found his first buck piled up. He had put that 210VLD right behind the shoulder, double lunged and punched a 3" hole out the other side. This is an experience he will never forget, I know I won't. I thought it was cute, the next day he said to me, "dad, I still can't believe I got that buck all by myself!"