My youngest daughters daughter (ala my granddaughter) hunted her very first year last year. Granted shot has shot in our Indoor Bench Rest League using a Custom Ruger 10/22 Bull Barrel set up in a Nordic Components AR-22 Receiver Chassis Kit with AR-15 Buttstock, Pistol Grip and Free Float Tube as well as having shot the Youth Indoor 3 Position Rifle League at the Indoor Shooting Range for a couple years now also using my Ruger 10/22 in an Archangel 556 Stock Kit.
Last year one afternoon we were at the Outdoor Shooting Range shooting bottles filled with water at various distances from varying shooting positions. On the way home I asked her if she was ready to go hunting. Her reply was an enthusiastic YES. We hurried home, got her license, deer sled, back pack and orange jackets and went out. We had sat in the rock pile a total of 15 minutes when we had a doe and two youngins within 50 yards of us. Unfortunately the doe caught movement when I was trying to get my granddaughter into shooting position and back in the cover the 3 deer went.
15 minutes later a lone deer emerged from the cattails about 3/8 of a mile to the east. The lone deer worked its way along the edge of the cover and my granddaughter made a 15 yard shot for her first every deer. I couldn't tell much about bullet performance of the handloaded 65gr. Sierra Gameking Spitzer Boat Tail which leaves the 16" AR15 Barrel at 2744 FPS from the neck shot at 15 yards as the deer dropped in its tracks stone dead.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Today is opening day of the youth deer season in South Dakota. At 5:30 this afternoon I phoned and asked if my granddaughter wanted to go deer hunting. I really didn't need to ask as I knew what the answer would be. We loaded up my Blazer and headed out of town at 6PM. We drove east of town 5 miles and turned onto the US Dam Road (actually was never supposed to be a road but rather a flood control dam). From there we entered the Mud Lake Lake Bottom and took up a position south of a patch of willows that extends almost 1/4 mile east to west. On the east side of these willows there is a trail that leads to another meadow to the east and then more willows extend south a couple hundred yards. out in front of us is a huge hay meadow to the south and west.
I told my granddaughter I was going to take a nap as we wouldn't likely see deer movement for almost an hour or so. I range a few landmarks to get an idea of shooting areas that would be in range and then tried to get comfortable. I had no more got comfortable when my son in law whispered DEER. He has seen the Deer the same time my granddaughter did. The doe was feeding along that trail that separated the east & west willows from the north & south willows at 185 yards distant.
The doe was feeding directly towards us most of the time facing us head on. The deer was ever so slowly closing the distance, turned broadside momentary a few times but before my granddaughter could get steady on the rest the doe would turn towards us again. Finally the doe turned broadside facing north (the doe was east of us) and again started feeding. I counseled my granddaughter that it was 175 yards, and to hold right up tight behind the front leg mid way top to bottom on the body. I said take your time and squeeze the trigger.
I was watching through my Alpen 10x42 Binocs at the shot and watched the doe drop in her tracks. The shot was right where I instructed my granddaughter to aim. The Sierra Gameking broke a rib on entrance and then totally destroyed the lungs but did not exit. To be honest I did not look for the bullet as the mosquitos were so HORRIBLE we hurried to get the doe field dressed, tagged and loaded into the Blazer. At 7:30PM we were back at my house hanging the doe in the garage, exactly 11/2 hours from the time we left town on our hunt.
Unfortunately due to the mosquitos being so HORRIBLE we did not take the time to take any photos either. Sorry guys. My granddaughter has now hunted a total of 3 hours two different times, fired two shots at deer and filled two deer tags in successive years. I told her we are batting 1000 and I am almost afraid to take her hunting next year. However she tells me that her next hunt she wants to take a coyote with the AR15.