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franklin county times

Youth hunt a big success for Jayme Gardner

By Staff
Nov. 16, 2001
Last Saturday 15-year-old Jayme Gardner experienced the thrill of a lifetime while taking her first buck. And what a fine buck it was. The deer sported eight points and was definitely a trophy for this young lady.
Gardner has been hunting for quite some time now. Her first venture into the outdoors was on squirrel hunting trips with her dad, Billy Gardner. Later on she even killed her first deer, a nice doe, when she was 13 years old. Deer hunting provides Jayme and her dad more time to be together while doing something they both enjoy.
Many youth hunters got little or no sleep on Friday night before the November 10 youth deer hunt opener, and 4:30 was an early wake up call for Jayme. Opening morning found Gardner and her dad in a tree stand well before first light. Gardner's dad had previously erected the stand in a prime location overlooking a cutover. Sometime around 7:00 a.m., the Northeast Lauderdale student detected movement out across the landscape.
It's a buck!
It didn't take long to determine that they had a buck coming through the cutover. Before long there were two bucks feeding and milling around at about 120-150 yards range. The second deer was a legal buck- a shooter!
Like a lot of young hunters, Gardner was nervous at first. The deer stalled for a while behind some thick brush and she was unable to get a shot. The deer fed behind the thicker brush and trees in the area for some 10 minutes before coming into the clear.
Although this was her first youth day hunt, it wasn't Jayme's first deer hunt. She was more than equal to the task as evidenced by her marksmanship with the Marlin lever action 30-30 rifle. It had been some time since she last shot the rifle but she knew how to handle it. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity but was only about ten minutes, the deer stepped out into an opening. Instantly she put the crosshairs on the deer and squeezed the trigger. The gun roared and the bullet struck its target. The deer ran only a few yards before going down for good!
First chance
Not too many hunters can say that they killed the first legal buck they had ever seen. Jayme Gardner is one hunter who can lay claim to that fact however. Although many of the boy hunters didn't think she could kill a buck, she came through the crunch time with flying colors and really showed them how its done. With a shot of more than 120 yards, she proved to be more than equal to the task. Being a good sport however, she didn't rub it in too badly with all the boys who came up empty handed.
Although she had experienced the thrill of harvesting her first buck with her dad, Jayme is not through just yet. In fact, she's already planning her next hunt once the regular season opens up!