Important lesson

nhn2a

Ten Pointer
A friend of mine invited me and my 11yo to his family farm to hunt with him this afternoon. My son has killed a couple does but has never shot or even seen a buck while hunting so even though they normally only shoot big bucks they gave him the green light to harvest anything he wanted to. They normally see 20+ does and a couple small bucks at a minimum in the spot he put us. Unfortunately it was 67 degrees when we got there according to the truck so we were afraid the warmer weather may result in some later movement.

We didnt see any activity until the last several minutes of shooting light but had a 4pt appear in our blind spot directly behind us and sneak in to 75yrds before we spotted him. My son made too much noise trying to turn around and get the scope on him and he did a 180 and bounded off. Then I spotted an even bigger buck across the field at 330yrds but he was walking along the woodline so it was really hard to see him through the scope. I could make him out but my son wasn't able to. He tried everything he could to find the buck in the scope but we ended up running out of time and legal shooting was over.

3 minutes later another large 8pt walks out and walks right up to us and turns broadside at about 50yrds. My son asks if he can shoot it but I explain that its past legal shooting and so he gets a pass tonight. He even makes the comment that no one will know and its only 3 minutes. We got to have an important conversation about ethics and integrity while we waited on our ride to come pick us up. I've had this conversation with him many of times in the past but I think this is the first time it truly set in as its the first time he had to apply it practically.

Even on the drive home an hour later he was able to define integrity and ethics almost word for word how I explained it. I'm hoping it set in and that he learned an important lesson tonight even though he came home empty handed on the deer front.
 
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lasttombstone

Kinder, Gentler LTS
Contributor
A good lesson learned. But equally important is ethical shooting. A 300 plus shot is a poke for an experienced marksman. An 11 year old in his situation should have never shouldered the rifle, much less tried to find the deer. Don't let him think that if he can see the deer he can shoot AT it. I am 76 and have never even shot at a target at 200 yards so I would never even try a deer at that range, much less 300+.
 

nhn2a

Ten Pointer
A good lesson learned. But equally important is ethical shooting. A 300 plus shot is a poke for an experienced marksman. An 11 year old in his situation should have never shouldered the rifle, much less tried to find the deer. Don't let him think that if he can see the deer he can shoot AT it. I am 76 and have never even shot at a target at 200 yards so I would never even try a deer at that range, much less 300+.

I completely agree. I should have clarified he wasn't going to shoot at 330yrds. All the other deer walked right out in the middle of the field which would have put it around 150yrds. He was just trying to locate it so he could follow it but he wasn't even able to do that.

Good reminder to stress the importance of personal limitations also.
 

nhn2a

Ten Pointer
This is why I don't wear a watch!, :LOL:, Acually JK. I hope you also stressed that the "exact time" is not the only factor involved in calling it a day. A lot of times, with no moon, and a lot of clouds; I'm sure I climb down a little early.

We do too normally. Most of the areas we hunt are in the woods so we lose shooting light well before legal shooting is over. In this instance we were hunting a freshly cut bean field so the field almost glowed in the dark. We could see everything well past legal shooting clear as day once it entered the field but couldn't see anything in the woods.
 

Aaron H

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Thank you for being the example that your young hunter needs at this stage of his development. Many would "bend" the law and let him shoot. He will always remember that event and how you explained it to him. When it happens and everything is ethical and legal it will mean more to both of you.
 

ellwoodjake

Twelve Pointer
Thank you for being the example that your young hunter needs at this stage of his development. Many would "bend" the law and let him shoot.
Yes, and most times, that would be me. I don't keep a copy of the sunrise/sunset charts in the stand with me, and don't know many people that do. My hunt ends when I don't think I can ethically make the shot, or fully identify antlers, no matter how tiny. The OP referenced a 3 minute time difference, and I just don't know if I would call it that close; although, I would commend anyone who does. Even using the sunrise/sunset data in the WRC regs, they use the exact time for the entire county, no matter how much longtitude it spans. Scientifically, this is not exactly how sunset works, as some of these wider counties can have a couple minutes difference from one edge to the other. At some point, we are just splitting hairs. But I won't fault anyone for keeping time that closely, "you're a better man than I."
 

jim67

Eight Pointer
This season down at inlaws, I shot a decent 7 point right down to the last legal minute. Yes, it was darker than I wanted, but the shot was only 20yds with the 243. Any thing farher would not have. 30 minutes past sunrise is pretty darn dark, but the shot was easy with a scope. I have gotten down much earlier in the past.
 

NCST8GUY

Frozen H20 Guy
WELL taught!

I love the idea in his head that older bucks who wait later to move got that old by learning to do so. And by doing so, get a pass.

I'd wager $ that the short lesson you taught him will be passed down to his kids and hopefully theirs!
 
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