USA – -(Ammoland.com)- Seventeen-year-old Eleanor Henry of Dumas, Arkansas, is a cheerleader, sings in the church choir and has gone deer hunting with her dad, Martin, for 11 years.
Since her high school football team got eliminated 2 weeks before the playoffs in 2014, she and her dad decided to go deer hunting.
“I wasn’t allowed to take a gun to hunt deer until I was about 9 years old,” Eleanor remembers.
“I’d go with my dad and sit in the blind with him at his hunting club in Jefferson County, Ark. He always took me or my sister, Ellis, with him when he hunted deer.” Then in the last 8 years, Eleanor had taken seven bucks. On November 14, although the weather was hot, Eleanor and her dad were hunting out of a ground blind box stand over a green field that had shooting lanes cut from the edge of the green field.
“The deer had clear paths to approach the green fields, and we had a shooting lane to take the deer,” Eleanor reports. “My dad and I hadn’t expected to see a good buck on this day and were enjoying hanging out together. The sun was shining straight into our blind. About 200 yards from our stand, we saw a doe running across one of the shooting lanes. Next, we spotted a monster buck coming from the same direction as the doe. Before I could get my .243 up to my shoulder and prepare for the shot, both deer were out of sight. Hoping the deer would return, I brought my rifle up, got ready and looked into a tall thicket where the two deer had run. Although I could spot the antlers of the buck, I couldn’t see his body. I could tell that the buck in the thicket was a real trophy buck and watched him through my scope for about 5 minutes, hoping he’d give me a shot. Next I saw a clear place with more open grass in front of the buck.”
Just as the buck started to step into the opening, the glare from the sun blinded Eleanor, and she couldn’t take the shot. Her dad was probably more excited than she was, but Eleanor explained she couldn’t see the nice buck through the scope.
Her dad told her to wait. Eleanor continued to survey the area where she’d seen the buck and the doe. Suddenly, she spotted the doe running through the grass and across the same shooting lane as before.
Eleanor aimed where she’d spotted the doe and took her .243’s safety off. Immediately, the big buck popped into the opening and stopped for a split second.
Eleanor told herself to take him, she squeezed the trigger, and the big buck dropped but started to get back up.
Although Eleanor had taken several good bucks in years past, she never had had to bolt her rifle and take a second shot.
All the bucks she’d harvested had been one-shot kills. “I jacked a second shell into my rifle, aimed, shot again and saw the buck drop,” Eleanor says. Eleanor and her dad sat in the shooting house for 30 minutes after the second shot – eyes glued to the buck. Eleanor’s first shot was a perfect shoulder shot, and the second shot was a heart shot. Once the father and daughter finally arrived at the downed buck, Eleanor’s dad gave her a big hug and said, “You did it, you did it, you did it!”
“I was really nervous, shaking and scared to death that this big buck would try to get up again and run off,” Eleanor says. While Eleanor attempted to calm down, her dad was on his cell phone calling all his friends to come look at Eleanor’s deer. Never had a buck that big been taken on this hunting club. She also had taken a buck before that that scored 184 points on this same property. “My dad never had taken a buck this big,” Eleanor reports.
Eleanor’s buck became the talk of the town, and her boyfriend, Dillon, brought his friends over to show them Eleanor’s big buck.
As soon as Eleanor’s buck hit the ground, photos of her and her buck were all over the internet.
Many of the young men at her school asked Eleanor how she’d taken the buck and all the details of the hunt.
Although she knows she won’t have an opportunity to harvest a trophy buck during the upcoming 2015-2016 deer season, Eleanor is excited about hunting with her dad.
As Eleanor explains, “My sister, Ellis, and I alternate taking trophy bucks each season. Each member of the hunting club my dad belongs to is only allowed to take one trophy buck each season. So, my dad lets one of us have his trophy buck. My 12-year-old sister also hunts with a .243 but prefers to bowhunt. Her biggest buck scored over 130.”
Martin Henry’s membership allows him to also harvest two cull bucks with antlers 8 points or less, and five does each year.
Martin Henry harvests a doe sometimes, but he prefers going with his daughters and letting them harvest the other deer that he can take on his membership in the hunting club. “Deer hunting with my dad enables the two of us to have quality time by ourselves to catch up on what’s happening in each of our lives,” Eleanor emphasizes. “I’ve always enjoyed hunting deer with my dad. I usually hunt with my dad every weekend until I take a deer, or until deer season ends.”
Once Eleanor’s turn arrives to hunt a big buck, she isn’t too enthusiastic about taking any other deer except a trophy buck. “When I took that big buck, I was much-more excited than I am when our football team scores a touchdown,” Eleanor says.
This is an excerpt from John E. Phillips newest book “Whitetail Deer and the Hunters Who Take Big Bucks”. Click here to get more info about this deer hunting book and other deer hunting books by John E. Phillips.
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