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Hunter Does Papa's .30-30 Proud

Hunter Does Papa’s .30-30 Proud

Virginia teen becomes third generation to score with heirloom rifle

By Penny Robertson (Hunter’s Mom)

My husband, our two sons Hunter and Seth and I moved from Tennessee to Moneta, Virginia, in May of 2013. We’d been looking forward to the chance to go hunting together as a family all year long, so we decided not to travel back to Tennessee for Thanksgiving.

Hunter, our 13-year-old son, had been bowhunting earlier in the season on our neighbor’s property, but decided he wanted all of us to go on Thanksgiving Day.

Since we wouldn’t be traveling or spending time with our extended family, my husband Mike agreed it was a great time for our immediate family to go hunting together.

Today would be different for Hunter, who was used to hunting with a compound bow. Today he would be carrying the Winchester Model 94 .30-30 which was handed down from his late Papa, Robert (Gene) Robertson Jr., who passed away in 2007.

Hunter couldn’t wait to take the open-sighted heirloom into the woods! He decided to get going earlier than the rest of us, around 3 p.m., to look for a good place to sit and to see if anything was moving.

He quickly situated himself on a log, and before long, six does emerged. Hunter decided not to shoot one of the does. He wanted to be patient and hold out to see if a buck might be following them.

Sure enough, he looked back and to his left and spotted a beautiful 8-pointer coming through the woods!

Without hesitation, Hunter shouldered Papa’s gun and made a perfect heart shot on the buck! His first deer!

Hunter immediately ran to our neighbor’s house and used her phone to call for us to hurry up and come help him get his big guy out of the woods. At first, we thought he was joking!

As we approached, Mike, Seth and I knew it was no joke when we could easily see the antlers from a distance.

My husband was overwhelmed with emotion and started to cry at this great accomplishment for our son.

As the four of us dragged Hunter’s gorgeous beast out of the woods, our entire family couldn't help but be brought to tears, remembering Papa and knowing how proud he’d be that Hunter used his .30-30 to take down his first deer.

This gun holds a lot of sentimental value for our family, not just because it belonged to Papa, but because Mike had also shot his first buck with it.

And to top it all off, the Saturday after Hunter got his buck, his little brother Seth got a doe with that same rifle – his first deer, too!

Later, as we called our loved ones back home in Tennessee and messaged pictures to them, it all started to become real to me, just how blessed we were on this Thanksgiving Day.

What a great weekend, and what a joy!

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