2008 Whitetail Deer Hunt — Dallen & His First Deer

Dallen in the Double Bull Blind
Dallen from inside the Primos Double Bull ground blind.
 
Dallen in the Double Bull Blind from the location he shot his first deer.
Dallen inside the Primos Double Bull ground blind where he shot his first deer.

My wife's family is from Oklahoma and this year we were going to be spending the week of Thanksgiving with them. What a coincidence that the rifle deer hunt is going on that week. I know where Dallen and I will be all week. Dallen was now 11 years old and Oklahoma doesn't have the age restrictions that Utah has so Dallen was very excited about the opportunity to shoot his first deer.

As the hunt approached Dallen really wanted to kill his first deer with his A-Bolt in 223 Rem. Oklahoma restricts bullets to weigh a minimum of 55g. I really wanted to use the 53g Triple Shock but that would not have met the requirement. I tried that 60g Nosler Partition and I could never get it to shoot very well. The 1 in 12 twist is just not tight enough to stabilize the longer bullets. I ended up using a 55g V-Max. Not my first choice for a bullet but Dallen and I discussed at length were he could and couldn't shoot on a deer with the fragile bullet he was using. The Barnes 53g bullet would have been a much better bullet for the job but rules are rules and so the 55g V-Max is what we went with.

 

One of the many poses for the camera after shooting his first deer.
One of Dallen's many poses for the camera after shooting his first deer.

I was going to be hunting with my A-Bolt Stainless Varmint Laminate in 243 WSSM shooting 85g Triple Shock bullets. The 243 WSSM handload I was using clocks in at 3440 fps from this 24" barreled rifle.

We used a Primos Double Bull ground blind to hunt from. It was my first time hunting from a ground blind and I really liked hunting from it, especially hunting together with Dallen. Lots of room and excellent protection from the wind and I'm sure rain if it had of rained. Dallen was not too excited with the wake-up calls at 5am. Every morning we would walk about 3/4 of a mile from the house through the pastures and down near the creek bottoms to hunt. Being in the blind a half hour before light is a lot different hunting style than a lot of the western hunts Dallen has been going with me on. Dallen was a trooper and was up early hunting every morning for six straight days.

 

Dallen and I inspect the entry wound on his first deer

With the help of a tripod and the timer on the camera, Dallen and I inspect the entry wound on his first deer. Hmm, some of these photos look a lot like some on browning.com. ;)

With Browning being located in Utah there isn't a lot of Whitetail looking country. I tried to take a few photos while we were hunting to take back for my day job.

We saw does from time to time but weren't finding any bucks. The day before Thanksgiving  we moved the blind into the timber near some persimmon trees that were dropping fruit. A spike almost climbed in the ground blind with us that morning and Dallen was on him for an easy quartering away 20 yard shot but he didn't want a spike and Dallen let him walk. I was impressed and surprised at the same time. There was no way I would have passed on a spike when I was 18, let alone at age 11.

That evening while walking in to get to the blind we spotted the spike again broadside at 150 yards and Dallen passed on him again. That was the only buck Dallen saw on the trip. Thanksgiving morning a little doe came by the blind at 80 yards and Dallen had both a doe and buck tag so I gave him the thumbs up to shoot her. He dropped the hammer on her low and behind the shoulder and she didn't go far. It was an exciting moment for both of us. He had taken his very first deer and I was just a proud father. What a special moment to share with my oldest son.

 

Notice the shirt camo compared to the pants

Notice how Dallen's shirt in Mossy Oak Brush blends in much better than the Break-Up pants.

For more thoughts on camo patterns check out my Camo Pattern Comparison entry.

I went out one evening by myself to scout around for a different location to move the blind for or last day to hunt. I found anther patch of persimmons that were loaded and found a few deer around this area. I was able to sneak in on a little 6 point within bow range but he wasn't what I was looking for to fill my tag with so I let him walk. To bad Dallen wasn't with me.

One of the things that I noticed while I was on this trip was camouflage. Mossy Oak Brush was just amazingly good at blending in with the predominate colors of the area. Mossy Oak Break-Up was just as pretty as it is on the shelf at the sporting goods store but it stuck out just as bad as it does in the open country of the west. It is hard for me to understand why the Brush pattern isn't a very hot selling pattern in Oklahoma and other mid west areas. The next time I take a hunting trip to Oklahoma I will be taking my Brush and Duck Blind camo clothing.

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