Chandler's buck a hunt to remember
Jan. 18, 2002
The young 4-point buck approached the green patch with a measure of instinctive caution tantamount to its age and seasoning. The father heard its approach and then could see its body through a shroud of young pines from his perch on the ladder stand beside his daughter. "He's coming," whispered Mike to the youngster.
Another whisper, "Go ahead and get your gun up." A few more careful steps and the buck was in the field. Mike left the rest to his daughter.
Chandler had taken deer during previous seasons. But she had never bagged a buck. She knew where to aim to make a quick kill with her 6 mm Remington rifle. Mike stayed silent. It was Chandler's moment. She would do well without coaching.
Hit or miss?
At the shot the buck characteristically flinched and dashed away, typical of a fatal shot. "Well, I guess I ruined it," said Chandler, after seeing the deer speed from the field."I think you got him," Mike told his daughter excitedly. He climbed down from the elevated stand and rushed ahead to search for the deer. Thirty yards from the field the deer lay dead, Chandler's shot having been on the mark. Her first buck.
Mike happily signaled Chandler with a thumbs up gesture that let her know that she had her deer. Getting down from the tall ladder stand and rushing to see her prize, she remarked," I am so excited I can hardly walk!"
Mike had scouted the field and the buck and made other preparations that would increase the chances that Chandler would be comfortable and successful on her hunt. "I had looked for a stand that would hold 2 people," he said, "One that would keep us in the woods and not closed up from the sights and sounds like most green field box stands." And he found what he wanted in Blackwater Creek's Big Buddy ladder stand.
But the moment of truth was when Chandler, a pretty West Lauderdale 9th grader who also likes softball, history class, playing piano and singing in the chorus, harnessed her excitement and made a perfect shot.
Meridian Star outdoor columnist Mike Giles and his oldest daughter were the two hunters in this memorable family story. Mike and Kathy Giles have three daughters, all of whom have been thoroughly exposed to hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports due largely to Mike's love of the outdoors.
Mike knows how fortunate we are to live in an area and a time when wildlife is abundant all around us, available for ventures that not only strengthen family ties but start our young people off on a journey of nature appreciation that will bring them endless enjoyment.
No matter what the future holds for these two, father and daughter, neither will ever forget the moment in Lauderdale County, Mississippi when they shared a high moment in an ancient tradition dating back to the origin of the human race.