On Saturday, young hunters across the state took part in the state’s Youth Deer Day, an event designed to encourage children to head into the woods with their parents or other qualified adults on their own “opening day” of deer season.
I headed to Bob’s Kozy Korner in Orrington to gather a few stories, and I’m still in the process of fielding email accounts of other successful hunts.
One proud grandfather, Tom Weaver, checked in to tell me about his grandson’s day afield.
Cameron Weaver, 12, of Pittsfield headed into the woods with his father, Craig, on Saturday and settled into a ground blind on his first-ever day of hunting. Cameron had a day to remember.
“Preparation included setting up the camouflaged blind, trimming brush from a couple of shooting lanes, and several trips to the gun range,” Tom Weaver wrote. “Normally, a young hunter would not be able to withstand the powerful recoil (kick) of the high-power .30-06 caliber rifle he was using. But with the help of a reloading manual [I] had hand-loaded bullets which produced less recoil and were still capable hunting cartridges at shorter ranges.”
Cameron practiced diligently, and proved to be a good shot. But his grandfather knew transferring those skills to the woods would take concentration on Cameron’s part.
“[Cameron] had become quite a marksman from the shooting bench, but now he would be put to the test of firing at a live target under more difficult circumstances,” Tom Weaver wrote.
“Sitting during the morning had failed to produce anything more than a lesson in patience, and after taking a lunch break, they sat quietly, listening to the rain lightly tapping on the roof of the blind and watching for any movement,” Tom Weaver wrote. “[Cameron’s] heart jumped with excitement as a young buck appeared and walked toward the blind. With the skill of an experienced hunter, he raised the rifle and fired, scoring a perfect hit on his target. He confidently shouted to his dad, ‘I got it!'”
Cameron’s deer was a hefty four-pointer; Tom Weaver explained that the tagging station didn’t have a scale, so the deer was not weighed.
But the weight didn’t really matter in the big picture.
“[The] afternoon will provide a lifetime of good memories and valuable lessons in preparation, practice and patience,” the proud grandfather wrote
So, how did your child’s Youth Deer Day turn out? If you’ve got a story to share, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And stay tuned: On Friday, we’ll unveil a cool contest for Maine deer hunters that you won’t want to miss!