My wife has finally expressed interest in hunting and after we found out she didn't get an elk tag this year she decided she would try for deer. The only hunt available that was convenient and had good draw odds, and didn't screw with any of my planned hunts was a muzzleloader hunt in a unit that is close to our house and that I've spent a lot of time in. The area is fairly heavily populated with does (for Arizona) and generally holds a fair number of yearling bucks. Not only are there usually a lot of small bucks, but the deer are generally not too spooky and often times won't even run when you get out of your vehicle... it's a good beginner hunt.
The only wildcard was that neither of us had ever shot a muzzleloader before. I ran the idea by her and explained that I didn't reckon that muzzleloading would be rocket science and she agreed! So she drew the tag, I bought her a muzzleloader and we shot it on several occasions before the hunt. The rifle was sighted and she was dead on at 100 yards and I was pretty confident she could kill a buck if I could get her a rest and a buck would hold still for her long enough that she could get on it in the scope.
Well opening morning finally rolled around, I just worked 16 days straight and the last thing either of us wanted to do was get up at 430. But we did. We got out to our spot a little late , we forgot something important and had to turn around. Anyway, I had an old logging road in mind that I wanted to walk so we were headed for that. It's quite a ways back into a large area that holds deer. We had been driving literally about 2 minutes past the spot I generally even start looking for deer when she spotted one. After a quick look-over I could see one was a small buck. She eased out of the truck and got the rifle and the monopod, the deer just kept eating as she set up. We had to wait a minute for the buck to pop out from around a large pine, I kissed at it and she fired. I'm not used to the immediate white-out caused by that smokepole so I was frantically trying to see around the smoke. I was still in the truck. I heard her say "I got it, it's limping." Finally the smoke cleared enough that I could see a few deer running around and I could see white legs kicking and knew she had him down.
I'm pretty excited for her, I was more excited for her hunt than I was for mine (coming up next week). Getting one on the drive in, 2 minutes into the hunt is one of the least exciting ways to shoot a buck but we'll take it. She's happy, I'm happy, and she wants to do it again next year. Mission accomplished
The particulars: CVA Wolf shooting .452" 300gr Hornady XTP with 80gr Triple 7. Shot was ~50 yards, quartering slightly towards. She was kneeling and on a monopod. Lunged him pretty good, shot was a little high and back for my liking but the deer didn't know the difference. Clipped one side of lung and mangled the other side, looked like good expansion and pass thru. Ruined zero meat.
Picked up the kids from a friend's house, they are excited to eat mommy's deer:
Hanging weight, dressed out. Leaves something to be desired. I haven't seen a deer killed in awhile, I'm used to hanging elk: