"I smoked him Daddy," said Mary Hunter to father Chris when the buck fell over dead and kicked his legs one last time.
The opening day of gun season in Alamance County on November 13 had Chris Hite and family in the deer woods hunting private property that is under a strict deer management program. A 25-degree morning had the bucks chasing the does pretty good and the big 11-point was spotted by Hite's father-in-law from a morning stand. At 2:30 Mary Hunter and her father climbed into a 15-foot tall black box stand to look for deer movement, and the temperature had warmed into the 50's.
Trail Cam scouting had two big bucks on the menu for that day, but before Mary Hunter climbed into that stand with her Remington .243 youth model, she had been raised right by her father. The Hite family of Elon started Mary Hunter when she was just three years old, and during the 2009 season she took her first deer when she tagged two does. Friend Chip Bell served as her shooting instructor, teaching her to squeeze the trigger and to not jerk the trigger.
After an hour in the stand the father and daughter hunting team wondered when they might see a deer. Hunting hardwoods near a creek that had a shooting lane through it, three does stepped out of the woods and Mary Hunter sat patiently looking for a buck. The buck stepped into the lane and before Chris could glass him with binoculars he moved out of view. Gone for 15 minutes, when he returned he had three different does with him.
The little girl in her Realtree camo stood up to use the window of the blind as a gun rest about 4:45, and she took steady aim. "We both were breathing heavy and I thought she might be too excited," said Chris Hite. "But the gun steadied before the shot, and the 95-grain Remington Accutip bullet dropped him in his tracks. I knew he was done but we took about 15 minutes to pack up our gear, in order to teach my daughter about giving big game a few minutes before approaching them."
The buck has a rough gross score of 153, and sports a 16.5-inch spread and his G3 tines are 12 and 10-inches respectively, with a split brow-tine on the left side of his rack. To view the Trail Cam photo on this buck on the deer hunting forum, use this link.
When Mary Hunter took her trophy buck photo to school there was some disbelief among classmates that the youth could have taken such a quality buck, and some wondered if she would ever take a larger animal. "Maybe when I go to Africa and hunt elephants," Mary Hunter said out of the blue. Somewhere in Africa right now, the grey pachyderms have a new reason to be worried.