I explained to her that deer season was not open just yet but we could surely go in the fall. Early August the millet was cut and baled. Again she wanted to work with me and help to pick up and load the trailer with the bales. As in June, the deer began to feed into the field as the sun began to set. After we were finished, we just sat and observed the deer for a few moments. Her and grandpa even had a few walk right past them in the truck!
The next week I got the new Banks Outdoors blind assembled and loaded onto the trailer. Kalli wanted to hunt so she wanted to go help get everything ready. We took the blind to the field and used the skid loader to get it set into place. The perfect corner of the field where deer often preferred to enter the field. Fifteen yards from the blind we also set up the Banks water tank.
With the dry weather we were experiencing, we knew the deer would like the water. Aside from a nice close shot, I figured it would be a good way for her to observe the deer in close proximity. We were all set to go for fall and season was just a few weeks away. Although season opened in September, we never got out to hunt until October.
Given the dry weather and fact that the field had dried up, I expected this years hunting to be a little slower. Our trail camera was telling us that we needed to make an evening sit for our best chances. The deer were coming to the water trough shortly before dark.
October 16th, 2020 was the day we decided we were headed to the blind. I picked Kalli and Rylee up from day care and we hustled home. I told Kalli we had to get dressed pretty quick and to be sure to pack the snack bag. She did both as soon as we got home while I grabbed the bow and binoculars.
Shortly after arriving in the blind, she was digging into that snack bag! Wrappers were crinkling, water bottles being dropped laughing, giggling, talking and a 3 year old head kept popping out of the blind window. With less than an hour until shooting light was gone, I thought there was no way we were getting a shot off on a deer that night, even if we did see one.
As the sun set she was starting to lose interest a bit. The snacks were gone and the water bottle wasn't entertaining anymore. So what was a little girl to do? Skip around the blind in circles around my chair! I told myself there is no way we will see a deer now. Shortly after that thought, Kalli stopped tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Dad there is a deer!"
This caught me way off guard and of course as I looked where she was pointing, sure enough there was a deer standing about 30 yards away heading for the water tank. I whispered that she now had to be quiet and could not jump or talk anymore, just watch out the window. Of course that meant go pop my head out the window so I can see better! I still thought there is no way!
The deer cautiously walked toward the water, continually glancing over at us. Kalli would look out and then turn back in to me and say, "Dad a deer is coming are you going to shoot it?!" Finally the deer gets into my window at 7 yards! I could not believe this was happening. Kalli turns and says "Shoot it!" I told her I couldn't for she was standing in the corner of the window I had a shot out of.
The deer finally sensed something was not right and turned to walk away. I grabbed Kalli, moved her to the side window, asked if she could see and I opened the other side window for a shot. The deer stopped as I drew back. I settled the 20 yard pin on her shoulder and squeezed it off. The arrow hit its mark and made a complete pass through. I could not believe that just happened.
Of course she acted as if it were no big deal, tried to open the door and said lets go get her! After explaining we needed to give her some time just to be sure, we decided to call Uncle Geoff to come help us retrieve her. That was the longest 30 minutes of her life waiting for him to come with a flashlight!
Upon arriving we took up the blood trail. Kalli helped find flood the whole way. A short 30 yards later we found her laying in the grass between some cedar trees. She was pretty excited, looked up and said "Now we can eat her!" Kalli enjoyed watching me gut her and asked many questions about her organs. That was the best evening of hunting I have ever had.
This was a hunt that she may never really remember, but one that I will never forget.