By Larry Gauthier
Well, it all starts with the snow fall on Friday morning. As a hunter this made me feel like I was 15 again. I was all excited so I took off the day of work (I’m a self employed contractor) so it was pretty easy to go check out our hunting grounds for fresh deer sign. After four and a half hours and covering 1200 acres I never cut a fresh track, so I told my oldest daughter (Kaidin) that I thought we would have better luck in NY the first morning. She agreed and off we went Saturday morning. We were up early with hopes of big bucks. It was only 19° when we left the house at 5:00 AM and the morning was uneventful without a single deer sighting. So, it was off to soccer practice for her and with my youngest (Keana) at a birthday party it was my time to hunt so I decided to hunt Vermont.
I was nestled in my climber at 11:00 am and was lucky enough to score on a nice 5 point at 4:15 in the afternoon. When I returned home I asked who wanted to go hunting in the morning and didn't receive much of a response from either daughter so I called a buddy Chris Wright to see if he wanted to go to my spot in VT in the morning. He said yes and that he'd meet me at the house at 5:30. On Sunday morning I was up at 4:00 am excited with anticipation since I was going be filming my buddies hunt but at 5:30 there was no sign of Chris. After a few failed phone calls to him I tried my girls one last time with no results so I decided to go sit in the treestand and show them what they were going to miss and off I went. I got there late - just at legal shooting time.
At 6:16 am it was like somebody opened the gates to a deer park! There was a small 5 point chasing doe all around I was able to get some footage of him. I called my wife Celisa to tell her to wake Kaidin up and get her up in these woods! She said “OK, I'll try.” A few min later she texted me to let me know they were on the way. I told her where to drop off Kaidin and that I would meet her there. My wife drives a car which wasn’t able to make it all the way in but she did get across two corn fields. A few min later she let me know they were here so I climbed down to meet my daughter in the corn field and explained what was going on. Back to the treestand we went. Being a lone hunter for many years it was driving me crazy having to go back and forth through the woods so many times knowing our chances were getting slimmer each time.
Soon we were back in the tree and I showed her the footage I shot before she got there. That got her excited and she was wishing she had gotten up that morning. After 25 minutes I noticed she was freezing and wanted to get down and go for a walk. She had on only her camo shell, no long underwear, no nothing. She said that she was trying to hurry and forgot her undergarments!!! So, I told her we had to stay in this area because it was hot but we would walk the ridge to the cornfield and back. I wasn't really pleased about this choice but it was her hunt, not mine, and it stinks being cold so off we went back down the treestand and across the ridge.
We had only made it 80 yards when I spotted a deer below us. It was a doe and she ran up the hill about forty yards to our right. I told her to be ready because that 5 point was probably chasing her. When I looked down the ridge again I saw another deer. It soon lifted its head and I about fell down! I said,
“Kaidin! It's a buck! Get ready!”
Up the hill he came but was even closer than the doe. He was about 35 yards when he then turned to face us and started nibbling on some blackberry bushes. Kaidin had the gun up and pointed at him and I waited with excitement for the bang which seemed to take forever. I asked her if she could see him in the scope and she said yes but couldn’t shoot him behind the front shoulder because he was facing us. (Something I think we all try to teach our kids is good shot placement.) I leaned over and told her to put it on his chest and kill him. No sooner did the words leave my mouth and BOOM!!!! Big buck down! He never took a step! I held myself back at this time, intentionally not to getting to him before her so she could be the first person to ever put hands on this magnificent buck (unlike a few times before, I just can't help it I get wicked excited). I knew this buck was big. I had one trail cam picture of him but there was no way did I believe he was this big, nor did I ever believe I'd ever see him in person!
Kaidin is amazing when it comes to shooting big deer. At 14 years she now has 5 bucks to her credit - a 4 point 181 pound deer at age 9. A 6 point 126 pound deer at 11. A 7 point 148 pound deer at age 12 (not sure about the weight on this one). An 8 point 151# at 13 years and this giant a 9 point 153# at 14 years! We celebrated with many friends and have told the story a million times. Some won't believe it but the people in our town of Bennington almost expect it from her- she has some type of deer magic.
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