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Father, daughter enjoy hunting experience together

NATCHEZ — Abby Brown’s friends kept rubbing it in her face that she hadn’t taken a deer yet.

So the 13-year-old decided to do something about it.

Abby went hunting with her father Walt Brown Nov. 24 in her quest to take that first buck. It was the fourth timed they tried together for it this year — and this time was a success.

Despite warmer temperatures than usual for a hunting trip, the daughter and father lucked into seeing an 8-point buck when it was still daylight.

“This one came out following two other doe,” Walt said. “I don’t think he was chasing them, but he was following them.

“We were sitting there trying to figure out which doe to take, and finally a buck came out.”

But Abby insists she was the first one that saw him.

“He’s blind,” Abby joked. “He didn’t see it. I was telling him, ‘It’s a buck, it’s a buck,’ and he didn’t believe me.”

Walt said his concentration was elsewhere.

“I was looking at the doe,” he said. “When I finally did see him, I told her to take a shot, because she had a great shot. She couldn’t quite get the safety off, so I had to do it.”

Abby said she thought the click the gun made when the safety was taken off would startle the buck.

“It sounded like a gunshot,” Abby said.

But Walt said the 8-point didn’t seem to be fazed at all by the noise.

“It always seems loud to us,” Walt said. “But after that, the deer started walking straight toward us. I didn’t want her to shoot him head on, so we had to wait. Soon, he turned broadside to a small deer plot.”

That’s when Abby’s father began instructing her to pull the trigger.

“I was shaking because I was nervous,” Abby said. “My father was sitting next to me, fingers in his ears, saying, ‘Shoot him, shoot him!’”

In order to get over the nerves, Abby used a simple exercise to help her concentrate.

“I said, ‘One, two, three,’ and pulled the trigger,” Abby said.

She hit the deer in the backbone, causing it to go down instantly.

“I’ve shot several deer with that particular gun, and they’ve never gone straight down,” Walt said.

Abby said she later found the bullet lodged in his backbone. Walt, meanwhile, couldn’t contain his excitement for his daughter’s first deer.

“That made my whole year,” he said. “I didn’t have a particularly good year myself, but I don’t think there’s a father in the world who wouldn’t be more excited for their child to kill a deer.”

The deer was taken on some family land in Jefferson County, and Walt said he was glad the deer was shot on family property.

“We have our land, and several leases, but this one was shot on our family land, so that made it even more special,” Walt said.

With deer No. 1 out of the way, Walt said his daughter would have to move on to bigger and better things.

“I told her she can’t shoot anything that small from now on,” Walt said.

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