My Boy's 1st Axis Deer!!

ZeeZee Senior MemberPosts: 19,443 Senior Member
My friend had told me earlier this fall that he was going to let my boy shoot an Axis this year. I figured it would be a spike or a doe. Last week he mentioned it again and that he wanted it to be a decent buck. Not one of his monster trophy's, but a decent buck. WOW!! I was just expecting a doe!! I told him my dad was coming to visit from out of town this weekend and wondered if we could do it this weekend while he was here. He said that sounded like a great plan.

He came into town on Saturday morning and we headed out to the ranch to hang out and cook ribs.

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Which were the best damn ribs I've EVER tasted!!! They get better every time.

The plan was to go out Sunday afternoon and try for a buck. If that didn't work, we would have Monday evening for a last try.

Sunday around 3, we got to the ranch and confirmed zero with the custom 18" Remington 700 w/Krieger barrel in .243 Winchester that he has used for all his deer. I switched back to the 105gr A-Max after he used the 95gr SST on a whitetail doe earlier this season. With the gun zeroed, we headed to the hills.

Set up on a hill overlooking a plateau where we had put out corn. After awhile, the deer started arriving. Whitetail and Axis does and bucks flooded the area, but, the only Axis bucks to show on the plateau were a spike and a big trophy buck in velvet. The later paraded around, back and forth like he knew he was safe. About 4:30, I looked across the valley to the opposite hill and saw a herd of Axis on the far ridge. About 5-6 bucks feeding along the ridge.........and ours was in that bunch!!! But, he was 640 yards away. Too far for my boy to try a shot at this point. Our only option was to hope they traveled down the hill to a water trough and then maybe into the plateau.

Time passed and more and more deer came into the plateau. But, no shooter Axis buck. My boy began to ask if I thought the one he could shoot would ever come out. I told him that I hoped so, but if he didn't we could try again tomorrow. Finally, after about an hour, I saw a buck exit the brush on the far side of the plateau and walk up to water at the trough. I looked back at my friend behind us and asked if that was the one. He gave me a big smile and a "thumbs up". Game on!!!

Of all the bucks in the herd, ours was the only one to come to water. What luck! But, he was still 250 yards away and I wanted him to come closer. After water, he began to walk out into the plateau. Hoping he would come to the corn we laid out at about 100 yards where all the other deer were feeding........we let him come. Unfortunately, he hung up at 152 yards and began to destroy a tree. I thought he would be quick about it and then continue our way. Nope, he was pretty PISSED at that tree. One side to the other, he thrashed that sucker. Even standing up on his hind legs to get the tall branches, he was shredding and tearing branches off. The sun was setting and it was getting darker.

I asked my boy if he felt steady enough to shoot him at sitting, using the SpecRest, at 152 yards. He said he thought he could. Aiming in, he said, I don't know........I can't stop shaking.

Ha!!! His first case of "buck fever"!!

I told him to relax and breath. Try to get steady and aim in on the spot we had talked about. He would aim, the come off the rifle. Aim, then come off the rifle. I told him if he didn't feel comfortable with the shot, we could wait and see if he came closer. He said he could do it and got back on the gun. The buck kept moving around as he destroyed the brush. He was broadside to slightly quartering towards us. I said to wait for him to pause from moving and send the round.

Watching him through binos, I saw him stop killing the tree and raise his head to sniff a branch. Thinking now was the time, I heard the rifle shot and saw the bullet hit his chest. Just behind the shoulder. He lurched forward and trotted a short ways. Stopping again to stand motionless. My boy reloaded the rifle and I told him to get back on the buck in case we needed to shoot again. The buck stood splaying his legs for balance for about 5 seconds, then...........toppled over backwards. Kicking on the ground until..........still.

YES!!!! The celebration began. Jumping up and high fiving.........my boy began to jump with joy. That.......was pretty cool.

And the coolest part, my dad was sitting there with us on the ground. Looking over my boy's shoulder the whole time. And my friend was behind him as well. Not a bad way to spend an evening.

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Even after the guts are removed..........these deer are pretty darn big!!! And this ain't a BIG one.

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The bullet lodged under the hide on the off side in a perfect mushroom. Breaking 1 rib on entrance and 2 on exit, hitting the lungs and shredding the liver, it retained 46 grains of its original 105gr weight. Not bad for a match bullet.

I'm a proud father, with a proud "Papa", an proud friend, and a happy boy.
"To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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Replies

  • cpjcpj Senior Member Posts: 37,953 Senior Member
    Most excellent. At least this time he saved the heart for you!
    "I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men."
    Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Most excellent. At least this time he saved the heart for you!


    I specifically had him aim higher than normal this time.

    I wanted Axis heart!!!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,805 Senior Member
    That, once again, is pretty cool, and only one hole in the hide, maybe you should get it tanned for him, tell the kiddo attaboy for staying with it and settling down the shot.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    CHIRO1989 wrote: »
    That, once again, is pretty cool, and only one hole in the hide, maybe you should get it tanned for him, tell the kiddo attaboy for staying with it and settling down the shot.

    Thanks.

    Gonna Euro the skull and have the hide tanned and the center section stretched across a painting canvass to hang on the wall
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • CHIRO1989CHIRO1989 Senior Member Posts: 9,805 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Thanks.

    Gonna Euro the skull and have the hide tanned and the center section stretched across a painting canvass to hang on the wall

    That is going to look very nice:up:
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11
  • Wambli SkaWambli Ska Moderator Posts: 26,671 Senior Member
    Outstanding! I'm pretty sure I've said it before. He is very lucky to have you as a dad!
    "Attack rapidly, ruthlessly, viciously, without rest, however tired and hungry you may be, the enemy will be more tired, more hungry. Keep punching." General George S. Patton
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,658 Senior Member
    An excellent family outing, and it sounds like your boy may have saved that tree's life from that thug deer. . .

    This is at least the second time you've told us of your boy having the green light and NOT dropping the hammer so as to stay within his limitations. Not even ten yet? Well done, Daddy!
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    He has displayed good judgement in regards to firearms, at least.

    Other times.......not always. Ha!
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    I paced it off this afternoon.

    The buck ran 28 yards after the shot. Stopped, then fell over backwards.

    I guess you just never know. My doe the other day ran 230ish yards with two .308 Win 165gr Sierra bullets through her lungs.

    This one, a much bigger deer, drops after 28 yards from a tiny .243 Win and 105gr bullets.

    Ya just never know.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JayJay Senior Member Posts: 3,053 Senior Member
    Excellent. Very well done. Love it.

    You can definitely see the resemblance in your faces....
  • Farm Boy DeuceFarm Boy Deuce Senior Member Posts: 5,994 Senior Member
    Excellent hunt. You have done well.
    I am afraid we forget sometime that the basic and simple things brings us the most pleasure.
    Dad 5-31-13
  • RyangigRyangig Banned Posts: 8 New Member
    Very nice work have done so far. Don't hesitate to share some extra tips with us. lol
  • Diver43Diver43 Senior Member Posts: 7,873 Senior Member
    What a fantastic read. Your Lad is really doing well.
    Showing control and shooting better than most adults. You have every right to be proud, you have taught him well.
    Give the boy a forum high 5 please
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    Thanks guys.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,641 Senior Member
    So... the lack of the face: is it only on your Dad's side of the family, or do your mother and your wife carry that characteristic, too?

    As I said earlier: well done by him.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    Nah. My wife’s side is the good looking side.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • bullsi1911bullsi1911 Moderator Posts: 9,302 Senior Member
    That is one heck of a nice axis! Great hunt, Congrats to everyone!
    To make something simple is a thousand times more difficult than to make something complex.
    -Mikhail Kalashnikov
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 12,641 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    Nah. My wife’s side is the good looking side.
    Ah, smart man.

    When you say, "I do," be the ugly one.
    Overkill is underrated.
  • TurdusMerulaTurdusMerula Member Posts: 212 Member
    Nice looking deer! Are they common there?
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour
    -William Blake-
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    Nice looking deer! Are they common there?

    They are free range and high fenced as well. But, their numbers are rapidly increasing in their free range areas.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 14,171 Senior Member
    That is nothing short of awesome! Great shot by the little guy. Excellent discipline.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 13,966 Senior Member
    Well done by all.....
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 14,171 Senior Member
    Ryangig wrote: »
    Don't hesitate to share some extra tips with us. lol
    While you got another thread going on tips, I am going to say it on this thread so we know what it is in reference to...

    Little Zee:
    1) Had mentors.
    2) His rifle was sighted in properly ahead of time and they checked zero before going out in the field.
    3) It sounds silly, but he used ammo that has been known to work for the game at hand (I have heard horror stories about the .243 where the bullet didn't do the trick. Come to find out, they weren't paying attention and purchased varmint ammo to hunt medium game). In other words, use the right ammo for the job at hand.
    4) Has spent the time at the range to learn his equipment and his abilities/limitations.
    5) He used a field rest. There is absolutely no shame in using a tool to significantly increase the odds of a quick, clean kill.
    6) He had the maturity and discipline to wait on pulling the trigger until he had a good shot.
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    :up:

    I had discussed with some Jackass friends of mine, the option of stepping him up to the .260 Remington for this hunt. Being as the Axis would be bigger than anything he had ever shot before, I began to waver in my resolve that both he and the .243 Winchester were up to the task. Maybe I needed to move to a larger caliber and heavier bullet.

    Well, my Jackass friends came through in true Jackass nature and steered me to the path of righteousness. The boy had batted 1000 on his 7 previous engagements and had stacked the whitetail deer like cordwood. The cartridge has performed as good and better than a myriad of larger cartridges with that diminutive 105gr A-Max Match Bullet.

    So, why screw with success?

    Result? I stuck with what we knew. The boy made a great shot on a nice buck and he ran 28 yards before expiring. Shorter than my smaller doe did at a closer distance with a bigger caliber and heavier bullet not but a few weeks ago.

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!!

    A lesson I've relearned.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    Jermanator wrote: »
    5) He used a field rest. There is absolutely no shame in using a tool to significantly increase the odds of a quick, clean kill.

    A great point and something I want to touch on as well.

    There are some who think the utilization of a mechanical rest in the field (other than a field position of kneeling, sitting or standing supported) as being heretical or un-manly (or whatever it is going through their mind). One hunting forum I’m on seems to look with distain as a whole on the few that actually take some form of a mechanical rest into the field.

    And yet, I read repeatedly about the multiple shots they require to despatch game because they in truth.........SUCK at field shooting. And I wonder........if there was a tool in your tool box that would make your job easier.............you gotta be a DUMBASS.......not to use it.

    The sky is the limit in regards to field rest options. To settle for anything but steady and stable is to accept mediocrity. A disservice to the game pursued.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
  • JermanatorJermanator Senior Member Posts: 14,171 Senior Member
    On my bear hunt....

    There was me and another guy that was up there. After a day's hunt, we would meet back at my guide's camp and go over with our guide what happened that day. This guy... opening morning missed a nice boar at 30 yards. He came in for lunch, the guide checked his rifle (it was on) and he went back out again. He missed that evening. 30 freaking yards! 3rd day comes around and he never seen another and went home empty handed. It took us years to rack up enough points to get that hunt and season.

    I seen a little tiny Boo-boo bear on my second day but not a shooter. I ended out staying an extra day, and during the last 10 minutes of legal shooting light, a decent bear finally showed up. When the right shot presented itself, I shot him at about 20 yards. He ran 25 yards and croaked quickly. The shot was perfect. Do you know why? I had my field rest with me and used it.

    I probably could have easily made that 20 yard shot, by why handicap myself? It seemed silly to not use it. It potentially saved me and my guide from trying to track a wounded bear (literally out in the middle of nowhere) in the dark.
  • LinefinderLinefinder Moderator Posts: 4,166 Senior Member
    Stellar!

    Great report. Glad it went as it did. That's one heck of a critter.

    Mike
    Decisions have consequences, not everything in life gets an automatic mulligan.
    KSU Firefighter
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 6,658 Senior Member
    Zee wrote: »
    . . .So, why screw with success?. . .

    . . .If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!!!

    Yep. Also worth noting is that your boy hasn't yet had the opportunity to fiddle with lots and lots different firearms and start putting the subconscious pieces together of "These little tricks are necessary for all of them. . .guns with these characteristics require THESE tricks". . .and so on.

    Right now, he knows that .243, and you want that when playing for blood. The other stuff you learn while farting around.
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • ar15julesar15jules New Member Posts: 17 New Member
    Great hunting story! Congratulations to your boy. It was really great that your dad could be there!
  • ZeeZee Senior Member Posts: 19,443 Senior Member
    Bigslug wrote: »
    Yep. Also worth noting is that your boy hasn't yet had the opportunity to fiddle with lots and lots different firearms and start putting the subconscious pieces together of "These little tricks are necessary for all of them. . .guns with these characteristics require THESE tricks". . .and so on.

    Right now, he knows that .243, and you want that when playing for blood. The other stuff you learn while farting around.

    He has used 3 different stocks with that same barreled action over the course of the 7 animals and range time.

    HS Precision Varminter
    Magpul 700 Hunter
    AICS
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith
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