Mike Strickland - Alabama

One year and one day separate two of the most exciting moments in my life. December 9, last year my then 10 year old daughter, Anna, killed her first deer which was a mountable 8 point buck. December 10, this year my 9 year old son, Will, killed his first buck. It was a main frame 8 point with 4 additional points that could be scored.

I have been lucky enough to be the person with both of them when they took their deer. Thanks to the Whitetail Institute, Will was lucky enough to be able to choose from 8 racked bucks on a food plot and Anna chose from 4 racked bucks. We started using Whitetail Institute products in 2001. The number and quality of deer seen has steadily been increasing from year to year. I have used the perennial products as well as the annual products of which all bring in and hold deer. Not only have the racks increased but so has the body size and weight of the deer. It was an extremely warm Sunday afternoon when we decided to go hunting. We arrived at the field around 3:30 CST which gave us about 2 hours to hunt.

The field was planted with Whitetail Institute No-Plow. Like any 9 year old, he was a little fidgety because it had been 5 minutes with no deer. We did not have to wait long before the first deer walked on the field at 3:45, 150 yards away. One side of the deer’s rack had been broken off just above the brow tine and the other carried 4 long points. In the south, he is what we call a “moose” of a deer due to his body size. I estimated he weighed 220lbs to 230lbs because the deer ultimately shot by Will weighed 200lbs. The first deer far exceeded Will’s deer in body and antler size. The next 7 deer to walk into the field all had nice racks. Only one was a 6 point and the rest were 8 points or better. To say the least, we were both excited.

After watching and judging the deer for a few minutes, I finally figured out which one to shoot as he exceeded the other deer in noticeable body size and none of the deer challenged him in the field. All of the deer except for the half rack and Will’s deer were involved in some type of fighting during the 30 minutes that we watched. There were 8 points with taller and wider racks but none had 4 additional kicker points. I gave my son the choice of deer and he chose points and body size. He fired the 7mm- 08 and the deer dropped in its tracks. I still have no idea how he shot the deer because if he was shaking half as much as I was looking through the binoculars the deer should have looked like a rabbit hopping through his scope. It took another 20 minutes for the remaining deer to leave the field before we could look at the trophy. Whether it is a spike or a 12 point, being with both my children on their first deer goes down as a trophy time. Thanks for the Whitetail Institute products.