By Leo Rossetti
-- My daughter, Natalie, has been tagging along on my bowhunts for the past three years. I usually take her on election day (the first week of November) because she's off from school and the rut is underway.
The first year she accompanied me, we saw several does within 15 yards of our ground blind. Later, with daylight fading, a decent 8-pointer entered the field. I told her not to make eye contact with it as it stopped to feed at 18 yards.
When I shot it, Natalie was more excited than I was, and she was hooked on hunting! From that point on, she wanted to hunt, too; not merely to take pictures.
In the spring of 2008, I bought her a bow. We practiced throughout the summer. In September, she passed her hunter (bow) safety course, dismissing it as "not challenging enough."
On our first trip to the ground blind, we settled in around 1:30 p.m. By 2:45, a doe was feeding in front of us. The deer didn't present a shot for 10 minutes. When she finally turned, Natalie drew her bow and released.
The arrow sailed under the deer, but the doe ran only about 10 feet and actually came back. My daughter waited until the doe seemed relaxed, and then she took another -- perfect -- shot.
The doe ran 40 yards and collapsed.
My daughter was so excited, her smile was as big as the sun. She turned to me and said, "Now let’s get a buck for you!"
We waited. At last light, a group of deer -- five does, a spike and a large 6-pointer -- passed the ground blind at 18 yards. I smoked the 3x3.
It was dark by the time we finished celebrating. Now the work begins, I told her. First, we went to her doe. And then she tracked and found my buck. What a day: two deer out of the same blind!
Life was good.
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