Skyler’s First Deer
Billy the Button Buck
Saturday, October 11, 2008, First Day of the Youth Gun Season:
5:00 - Alarms ring at the Grissom household. Skyler is a little slow movin as any 8 year old would be when they’re not a morning person. After a few minutes her excitement kicks in and she gets up and dressed quickly because she is looking forward to her first day out in the stand.
5:30 - Skyler, Dad and Mom are out the door and driving to the property where Skyler’s stand awaits. The moon is almost full this time of year, but by the time we start the long walk to the stand the moon is gone for the night so it is very, very dark. Skyler grabs mom’s hand and together they follow the shadowy form of dad as he guides their way. Just before they reach Skyler’s stand mom has to separate to go sit in another stand down the way as there is not enough room for 3 in the stand. Many goodwell wishes and hugs before mom watches Dad and Skyler make their way across the creek.
6:00 - Skyler and Dad make it to their stand and quietly wait for the sun to begin lighting the timers around them. As they wait Skyler lays her head on Dad’s shoulder and falls asleep - no doubt dreaming about the deer in her future. After quite a long sleep Skyler wakes up to a now bright woods. There had been no deer yet and the sleeping made the time pass quickly. Dad’s are good for more than rough-housing and piggy-back rides, this one makes a good pillow.
9:30 arrives and Skyler and Dad have not seen one deer. As this is the time we agreed would be a good time to leave and take a break Dad, Mom and Skyler all join up and make their way back home. Skyler is disappointed that she didn’t see any deer but we talk about going back out tonight and how surely tonight the deer will be moving.
After a break at home. . .
4:00 - Skyler, Dad and Mom again make their way out to the timber. This time there is plenty of light and we make our way single-file toward Skyler’s stand. The leaves sound like breaking glass under our feet and we are sure that every deer in the woods hears our approach. Again, mom goes off to her stands and Skyler and Dad go together to theirs. Skyler has a book along and plans on logging lots of minutes for her 3rd grade reading assignments. Once prime time comes Dad is just about to have Skyler put the book down in case a deer should come - when a 4-pointer appears at the edge of the timber. The movement that ensued, with Skyler taking her propped feet off of the railing and putting her book away and Dad trying to help get her rifle ready, was a little too much for this big pronghorn and he makes a quick get-away. Disappointed the two sit to wait some more. Just shortly before dark Skyler nudges Dad and tells him there is a deer coming. He asks her where it is and she is about to point when Dad tells her to stay still and they both look in the direction of this special deer making its way to them. This time they are both ready - everything happens in a fluid motion. Dad quietly hands the .45 caliber muzzleloader to Skyler and tells her to wait for him to get closer. Once he is just short of 10 yards, Dad makes a “bah” sound to stop his walk. Dad says “shoot now Skyler” she squeezes the trigger and a puff of smoke and long bang follow. Skyler immediately asks “did I get her?” and they watch the deer run about 25 yards before it falls to the ground. Skyler is so excited and begins to get down form the stand. Dad tells her to wait so that the deer has a few minutes to expire. Skyler begins singing the Lee and Tiffany song “Life is Good, Life is Fine” and is more excited than Dad has ever seen her. Skyler says that Dad was so happy he looked like a leprauchan who had just drank sour milk. I am not sure what that means but it means something to Skyler. Once they got down from the stand Skyler ran to see her doe. Upon getting to the deer they realize this isn’t a doe, but a button buck. When Skyler finds this out she is even more excited. She had said she wanted to shoot a button buck because their loins taste the best! After a photo session to get some great pictures they make their way up to meet Mom who is on her way down to see what happened. Skyler is yelling through the timber - “run faster Mom!”
She is so excited to show her deer off - it is a beauty! While Paul runs to get the truck Skyler and I start gutting him out. Skyler is so interested in learning all of the names for each organ and how they work. Once Paul gets back we finish getting the rest of the guts out and Paul carries Billy to the truck.
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