Eleven-year-old Sydney Lurvey of Eagle River was hunting the woods of Oneida County with her dad, George, on Nov. 23, the opening day of the nine-day gun deer season.
A known buck would pay an early visit that morning and make for a memorable day.
Sydney is not completely new to deer hunting. She went into the 2013 gun season with a doe and a spike buck to her credit already. Well, she was about to get a chance at something a bit bigger.
“Me and my dad went out early in the morning and we got to our tent (blind) and we waited for a while,” Sydney recalled. “It was dark at the time we got in our tent.”
Daylight slowly took over and not long after revealed an awesome sight.
“We saw this huge buck ... and it was shaking its antlers at us, in the woods,” Sydney said.
“And then a doe came in, walked by, and he like hid behind the trees, the buck did, and he didn’t come out for like 15 minutes.”
It’s along time to wait in expectation.
“Then he finally came out and I got the gun up and I shot and he only ran a little ways, and then we went and tracked him,” Sydney said.
Father and daughter actually waited an hour to follow the buck, which Sydney hit at 7:15 a.m. The shot from her .22-250 was true.
“He didn’t run very far,” Sydney said.
She said she hit the deer “right behind the shoulder – right through the lungs.”
The buck traveled about 50 yards before going down. It proved to be an impressive animal. A heavy-racked nine-pointer with a 15-1⁄8-inch inside spread.
Sydney helped her dad with the field-dressing chore. She said she likes venison. She likes other outdoor activities as well.
“I like fishing and trapping and bow hunting, too,” Sydney said.
Her mentor was pleased.
“I know as a father it was one of the most exciting days I’ll ever have – a lot of fun,” George said.
He was familiar with the buck.
“I have been following the deer three years,” George said. “This year we had some trail camera pictures of it, but didn’t have any trail camera pictures within the last three weeks. Opening morning it kind of came out of nowhere.”
He was proud of Sydney’s ability to keep her cool at the moment of truth.
“Pretty impressive for an 11-year-old girl to maintain her composure and shoot a buck that size. I was proud – it was a special day.”
Since the buck was big and had been big for several years, they planned on getting the buck aged. George thought it was possible that the buck could be seven or eight years old.
George rough-scored the buck himself, using the Boone and Crockett scoring system and came up with 145 inches.
They plan on getting the buck’s head mounted.
Sydney entered her buck in the Northwoods Youth Deer Hunting Challenge, where it scores 24-1⁄8 points.
Craig Turk may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.