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Now I’m a deer hunter!

Now I’m a deer hunter!

By Braylin Dearmon

Photo: Braylin Dearmon and his dad scouted hard for the 7-year-old to take his first buck. Now Braylin can claim he is truly a deer hunter!

Today, October 31, 2015, was opening day for juvenile hunters in Tennessee. My dad and I went hunting on our three-quarter acre food plot planted with whitetail oats. The field is on the backside of a 120-acre farm we leased this season.

With a steady mist of rain, we crawled into our ground blind at 2:30 p.m. My dad began rattling 30 minutes later and clanged his rattling antlers together every half-hour, until 5:30.

I’ve been hunting with my dad many times, but this was the first time I actually hunted with my very own .223 H&R break-barrel rifle — a gift from my dad.

As the rain stopped around 5:30, the sky began to dim. My dad told me to sit very still because he knew the deer were for sure to move.

At the end of the food plot, a buck suddenly walked into view at 6:02. This was the largest buck I’d ever seen!

When it walked onto the field, it stretched out its neck and put its nose high into the air. My heart was about to beat out of my chest!

DearmonMy dad had set up a Caldwell Fieldpod (tripod) to steady my rifle on. I adjusted my rifle in the gun rest until found my buck in the scope. Its head was down, and my dad whispered in my ear to not shoot until it raised its head again.

When it did, my dad said, “Are you ready?” With very little pause, I squeezed the trigger.

I’d aimed just behind the shoulder and a little low. At contact, the buck jumped up, then fell to the ground. My prayers and dreams had been answered … I’d just shot my first deer!

It was extra special because this was a buck my dad and I had been watching for several weeks. We’d learned its patterns well through lots of scouting.

Now, my family will enjoy the meat my deer provides, and I will enjoy a deer mount to display on my bedroom wall for years to come.

This hunt has changed me forever. I'm not just a 7-year-old boy anymore; I'm a deer hunter!

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