NICE SHOT: Austin Whatley, 7, poses with a 135-pound doe he killed on Kings Point Island on November 24th.
A wasp sting and a borrowed rifle led to Austin Whatley harvesting his first deer.
The 7-year-old Vicksburg resident was hunting with his father, Scooter Whatley, at the family's camp on Kings Point Island. It was two days before Thanksgiving, and they were in the deer stand of Harold Whatley, Scooter's father and Austin's grandfather.
Right around dawn, Austin woke up from a nap just in time to see a 135-pound doe approach the stand. At the same time, father and son noticed something far more ominous.
"He said something bit me or stung me," Scooter Whatley said. "I shined my flashlight up in the corner and there was a huge wasp nest up there. I'm talking 75 or 100 wasps."
Scooter quickly gave his son a choice - - flee the wasps and the deer stand and lose the doe, or quickly take the shot.
"I said we could get out or wait another 30 seconds. We waited it out and took the shot and he drilled it," Scooter Whatley said. "Then we bailed out of the stand. I mean, we parachuted out, we got out so fast."
Austin was using his older brother Connor's brand new .243 rifle and had never fired it before, but made a perfect shot. The Whatleys tracked the deer and found it a short distance away.
After harvesting the doe - - the biggest taken at the camp this season - - and going through the informal ceremonies that accompany a first kill, they didn't have a chance to return to the stand to deal with the wasps. That allowed for a sequel to the adventure the next day when Scooter and Connor went to the camp.
"The next day we took the wasp spray and got them, and swept them all out. They were all over the place," Scooter said.
Once safe from the wasps, Connor got a deer himself. He bagged a 230-pound, eight-point buck that approached the stand not long after sunrise. It was the biggest buck taken at the camp this season.
"It was the same scenario," Scooter Whatley said. "One shot. BOOM. I watched the deer pile up."
A FAMILY AFFAIR: Scooter Whatley, left, stands with his son Connor and the 230-pound, 8-point buck Connor shot at the family's hunting camp on Kings Point Island on November 25. Courtesy of Ernest Bowker ~ The Vicksburg Post
I have hunted at this camp on Kings Point Island, north of Vicksburg, MS, years ago and have seen some monster bucks there. In fact, I've killed two nice 8-points, a 6 pointer and a bunch of does. I know Scooter and his Dad. I have also hunted in his Dad's stand and seen a monster 'White Horns' buck (that no one told me about) that was bedded down nearby but I could not shoot it at the time. You could only shoot one buck and one doe back then but I've heard the rules have changed since. I'm so very proud of Scooter's sons and his Grandpa Harold in harvesting deer in our great wild outdoors! My congrats to both young hunters!
(Note: Picture of me with my very first 8-point buck shown above on this blog was taken at this same camp)