by Kevin & Brittany Passmore
Planning a pregnancy around hunting season sounds crazy, but that’s how our family did it in 2013.
Going into the 2013 hunting season my wife, Brittany, had high hopes for her chance at a whitetail tag in central Arizona and a New Mexico private land antelope hunt. We had baby #2 on the way and our daughter was just 18 months. With the success of obtaining both tags, all I could think was, ” This is going to be a challenge! “
Brittany and I both decided, we were not letting the excuse of parenthood change our hunting goals in 2013.
Brittany describes her hunts:
My antelope stalk begins…
We stalked my buck on the morning of day #2 but I wasn’t able to belly crawl, so we had to back out. Later in the morning, we glassed from a far and watched as the buck split off and laid down, alone. After a quick game plan and a perfectly placed drainage ditch, I found myself 180 yards from the buck. Kevin grunted out loud to get the buck to stand and I put a well placed shot to end my antelope hunt.
Having our daughter there for her first hunt, even though she was in the truck watching movies with grandpa, really put in perspective how awesome it is to enjoy the outdoors with family. From glassing with her, to showing her cows, every second was a memory Kevin and I will cherish.
My AZ Coues Hunt begins…
Kevin and I took a few trips throughout the year to my whitetail unit, either to shed hunt, hang trail cameras or just to go camping. We had been watching a few bucks through the summer in velvet, so during the wait for my hunt, I was fantasying about killing an amazing trophy whitetail.
After trail cam photos and scouting trips, I had made up my mind, “I was not shooting anything under 90 inches.” My husband so graciously accepted this fact, knowing how stubborn I can be when it comes to hunting. I also took into consideration that being pregnant during this hunt would make things a little more difficult or I would have said, “100 inches“. Having to change my standards was only due to the repeated words of Kevin, calling a coues whitetail hunt “a poor mans sheep hunt“. I was expecting nothing less then those steep canyons and high mountains where coues whitetail live, so I prepared myself as much as I could by walking and staying active.
We got camp set up a couple days prior to the hunt, which afforded us a couple more scouting days before the opener. I was lucky to have my husband, and his good buddy, Jeffrey Row, and father, Randy Passmore, along to help glass for me. The few scouting trips just prior to my hunt turned up a few small bucks and we watched as the truck loads of other hunters rolled in.
As opening morning arrived, I was ready, although rolling out of bed at 4:00 am 5 months pregnant is no easy task, I let my excitement take over. We got to our glassing spot, which was high enough to where we could watch the dirt roads turn into highways, hoping that the pressure would make the deer lay low. As the sun came up, we again glassed up small bucks. The next 3 days of the hunt were the same, only turning up a few small bucks, but I knew being in the right place at the right time is all it takes and I was going to put in as much effort as I could, no matter what condition I was in.
Getting closer to the end of my hunt, Kevin would ask me if my standards had lowered and his question was of course followed up by a quick reply of, “Nope“.
When I woke up on day 4, my pregnant body was definitely getting sore from reaching those once so easily reached glassing spots. We decided to try a new spot and not get discouraged with some low clouds and rainy weather coming our way. As we got set up, I finally heard those magic words, “I got a good buck”, Jeffrey called to us. With the weather changing and not knowing what the deer were going to do, we made a quick plan. The buck was a good mile away through a canyon and we knew the stalk was going to be slow, being 5 months pregnant we had to not to risk any injury. Jeffrey stayed back to watch the buck which would allow us more time to get where we needed to be with out stopping to see where the deer had moved.
We made it slowly down the canyon, with the goal of getting close but swirly winds kept us from crossing the canyon, so we setup at 300 yards. During our hike over, the buck had bedded down so going off of Randy’s directions and the land marks of where the buck was at from Jeffrey, I set up for my shot.
After about an hour long wait, the buck got up! All I could see was horns sticking up over the brush as he slowly fed away. I had one last clear shot before he was out of my range. As he stopped behind a tree right before the clearing, I caught my breath and did my best to keep my heart from beating out of my chest.
“Alright here he comes, right behind the shoulder…..” Kevin’s words were interrupted by a load BOOM!!!
We knew the buck was hit and as I watched the deer go back about 100 yards from were he was bedded, then I heard “He’s down!!!” I watched intently through my scope only to see the white under belly of my buck. As always, I leaped up and hugged Kevin after all the excitement and anticipation. I knew I had got the buck I wanted.
There is no better feeling then walking up on a buck after so much time and effort is put into a hunt. I was so grateful for all the help and effort put in by others to make this such a successful and fun hunt. Three weeks of being pregnant and spending time with my family doing what I love, is something I’m sure none of us will forget.
Brittany & I had great time hunting this past year with our daughter and newly arrived son. It help me slow way down and really appreciate the time I get to spend with them doing what we love. Brittany was a trooper and topped it off in January with her 3rd consecutive archery javelina.
A reminder for those of you who hunt as a family. Just because you have to go slower then the rest, don’t think you don’t have a chance at having a successful hunt. Hang in there and enjoy the moments that you get with the ones you love.