Editor’s Note: Austin Daman, 10, of Talking Rock, won a SEEDS dream deer hunt with landowner Kyle Brown on his farm in Wilkes County. Below is the hunt story told by Austin’s father, Paul.
First let me start by saying that Kyle Brown is one of the most generous and kind human beings I’ve ever met. Having him contribute a hunt to the SEEDS program is just the beginning of what you get. This was supposed to be a father-son hunt, but Kyle asked me if I had any other children. When I told him I had another son who was a 911 operator who was 21 and hasn’t hunted with me since he got his driver’s license, he told me to bring him along as well.
Austin didn’t have a gun to shoot at the time we first went to hunt, so Kyle let Austin borrow his daughter’s rifle, a beautiful Browning A-Bolt .243 with a Leupold 4x10x50 scope. He also offered us a cabin to stay in.
To make a long story short, Austin, who had never had an opportunity to shoot a deer, saw deer on almost every hunt.
On his second day of hunting, a beautiful 8-pointer stepped out and presented a shot at about 80 or 100 yards. I cranked up the video camera while Austin steadied for a shot. He was shaking like a leaf when he pulled the trigger, but it looked like a good shot. After high fives and celebration, we gave the buck 45 minutes to hopefully bleed out. We got down and immediately found a good blood trail. We just knew we had him. After three hours or so, and over half a mile tracking, the blood trail ended. We backed out, and I got out the video camera. The video showed that the shot was not fatal. The shot was in front of the shoulder just grazing the brisket. We went back looking for the deer again that afternoon, with dogs even, but no luck. Austin was heartbroken.
Although Austin didn’t get a deer, my oldest son, Justin, shot a doe that morning and followed that up with a spike the same evening. Kyle, being the generous man he is, told Austin we could come back in a few weeks. By then the food plots would be in better shape, and the deer would have calmed back down after all the walking through the woods looking for Austin’s deer and retrieving Justin’s deer. Basically, Kyle invited us to come back because he wanted Austin to get his first deer. He could tell how heartbroken Austin was going home without a deer.
So we were back hunting after Christmas. On the first evening hunt, two days after Austin’s 10th birthday, four does came out into the food plot we were hunting. Austin picked out the one he wanted and squeezed off a shot. Austin’s first deer was a 116-lb. doe.
I must add that my wife, who had never hunted, also was invited to come and hunt. With all the excitement over seeing so many deer and hearing Austin talk about his next hunt, she decided to come along. She got to see a big buck, but she never had a clear shot at him. She had a great time, and I believe she will be hunting with me next year. Memories were created that will never be forgotten, all thanks to the SEEDS program and the generosity of Mr. Kyle Brown.