The story is an incredible one, and I am glad to share it with you and all your readers:
I had been a Deputy Sheriff since 1992 here in Virginia. In 2000, I was told by my doctors I would never work again due to a disease in my spinal cord. I have had multiple surgeries since and things have just gotten worse over the years. The only thing my doctors kept telling me was to keep doing the things I loved and hunting was – and still is – at the top of the list, next to spending time with my wife and daughter.
My entire hunting career, my daughter would be waiting for me to bring home a deer. She would always want to help me any way possible with the process and absolutely loves eating them. Since I got hurt, it has been very difficult every year to continue to hunt. My daughter knew from an early age I would never pressure her to go along, and when she felt the time was right she was always welcome.
Last year Jessica – at 13 years old – asked me if she could come along and learn from me while she could and wanted to share what has made me so happy for so long. So last season I took her and taught her everything I could about hunting and that it was not all about the killing of an animal. She didn't understand at the time. We had several times where we had good bucks around us but she did not shoot.
Then Jessica and her mother bought me one of your trail cameras for Christmas. We started putting it out and watching everything we could. Then we found this buck and several others that Jessica gave nicknames to. Her buck was named "BIG DADDY" at an early time way before he grew such a trophy rack (so my daughter had an eye for good deer from the start).
The opening day of Virginia’s youth day hunt, we got up at 4:30am and were in our stand by 5:15am. We sat and watched a few smaller bucks but "BIG DADDY" did not show up. After sitting until 10:30am, we both couldn't stand to sit anymore. So we came out for lunch and a nap. At 3pm we were back in our stand and sat until almost dark when a huge 8-point buck stepped out less than 20 yard away. I told her if she wanted to take the shot. Then out of nowhere Jessica said "No, Dad, that’s MY BUCK!" I didn't even see him but then there he was trailing the big 8-point. He would not come in any closer than 35 yards and she had one chance, but he was between 3 trees quartering away from us. Jessica asked me "Dad, is that a shot I can take?" I told her exactly where to place the arrow and she let the arrow go. I not only watched the arrow in flight, but also saw its impact and heard the thud when it hit the big deer. We watched the deer run off and heard him crash into a thicket 40 yards away. After her tears cleared and we both stopped shaking, we climbed down from our stand but by that time it was dark.
We went over to where he was standing and there was no arrow or blood. Being that it was dark and I had my baby with me, I explained to her it was best to wait until morning to come look for him. She was fine with that because she, too, knew she made a great shot and we'd find him in the morning.That morning I let her sleep in while I went and looked. It only took 15 minutes to find him because he was exactly where I thought he'd be. I backed out and went home to wake her and get some help getting him out of the woods.
That is the story of my daughter’s first buck on Virginia’s youth day hunt, and I appreciate the help your product provided us in finding such a trophy.
- Michael and Jessica McCay