Her First Buck!

Boom! “You got your first buck baby!” 

That was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life and I hope she does too.

Live It!

This is a moment I don’t think she can replace by reading or watching it; she Lived IT!

21 years ago, I can remember my dad crying after I killed my first elk with a bow.  I wasn’t really aware of why he cried, but I am now.  The first words out of my daughter’s mouth when she talks about her hunt is, “my dad cried after I shot my buck.”   It’s a moment I hope every dad gets to experience and something I live for.

Days before her kill.

We knew of some bucks in a good spot, in fact, we had bumped them just 2 days prior.  We decided to give them a break and in the meantime, we found a really big 190 type buck, but I got LAZY!  We bumped the big buck and could not find him, so we decided we should go back and try to relocate the original bucks we were hunting. 

The morning of…

We had 4 little fingers (draws) we had to look into.  Right off the bat, we found a little 2×2.  Ashlee had her gun on him, but we talked it over and decided to let him live.

We worked to the next draw and found the does we had been seeing, but no bucks.  We looked over into the 3rd draw and found nothing.  When we reached the top, my stomach had butterflies because I had a gut feeling the bucks were going to be in the last finger.  As we crept over the top, I caught a glimpse of a buck feeding on the cliff rose.  We immediately hit the dirt and I told Ashlee we had them!   I figured out which buck was the biggest  and my hands started to quiver.  The emotions of the situation was like living my first hunt all over again.

Live It.

Glassing for her first buck is something she found fun.

Live It.

Hunting with your kids is something you cannot duplicate, even if you think you can by killing your own trophies.

Live It.

For youth, we use the Triclawps with a pistol grip tripod head.  For longer ranges, you will want to use a stouter head.

I will be honest, I thought I was going to throw up! I hadn’t felt this way in a while and I was starting to panic.  Ashlee looked at me like I was crazy, but I just knew this was it.  Finally, I talked myself down and got her ready in the gun.

A quick endorsement of a product I believe in…

There are a lot products I use, but there is just 1 unique steady gun rest I will endorse.  Triclawps is basically a portable gun vise which attaches to your tripod.  For kids & in-experienced hunters, it is a MUST have!  As a guide/dad, I can find the animal in the scope for the hunter, which cuts out a huge issue.   FYI-they don’t pay me, I am not on a PRO-staff, and I bought the Triclawps I have.

Back to the hunt…

It took a while for her buck to get into the right position for a shot.  Ashlee was extremely patient and the voices of doubt started to creep into her head.  I personally have found success when I talk people through the shot, if they lack the confidence.  You have to be a coach, some times they just need some one to believe in them and it is all about being positive.

I remember hearing her breathing get rapid and shallow just before she pulled the trigger.  Inside I was a wreck thinking, “kill that sob”, but outside I was trying to remain calm.



“You got your first buck baby!”

More pics of her hunt experience…

Live It.

Walking the fingers looking for her mule deer buck we found a lot of elk.

Glassing with Zeiss Binos

We use both Zeiss & Swarovksi binculars, both are made of high end glass.

Live It.

This was a normal scene on her hunt… I didn’t mind, as long as she was there with me.

Live It.

Ashlee holding her freak heavy first mule deer buck.

Live IT.

It’s the little moments like this…

Live IT.

The only organic meat we buy!

Live It.

Cool antlers, meat & memories. Live It!

Live It.

Craig & Ashlee Steele posing proudly with their Trophy.

Live IT.

Ashlee’s wraps her tag around her fist big game animal.

Ashlee didn’t draw her tag, but thankfully, the Arizona Game & Fish Department allows Grammas to transfer their tags.  Without this selfless rule and act, this whole story would not be possible.  Thanks Mom/Gramma!

If you didn’t see it, here is a short film of her hunt:


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