This 11-year-old's first buck is the deer of a lifetime.
Jenna Perryman isn't likely to outdo the buck she took as her first deer ever. But fortunately for her, the 11-year-old has a lot of years left to at least try!
Perryman's massive 15-pointer taken outside of Springfield, Missouri during the youth season may even end up with a spot in Boone and Crockett's record books after all is said and done. Her family will have to wait until after the drying periods are up, but the buck's gross score is an impressive 178 inches.
To top it all off, she wasn't even planning on hunting the youth season originally! It was only when her dad David Perryman was sighting in a rifle between hunts with Jenna's brother that David decided to let his daughter to take a shot with the .243 single shot rifle. It was after that, Jenna worked up the confidence to give hunting a try.
"She shot it better than me," David Perryman told the Springfield News-Leader. "It was right on the target. She had shot .22s, a .223 and a .243 at WOLF school during a trip to Andy Dalton Shooting Range and it didn't seem to bother her a bit."
Later that afternoon, with shooting light running lower, Jenna and her dad spotted a doe at 50 or 60 yards out. David handed the rifle to her daughter, but they quickly spotted another deer behind the doe.
"I was going to shoot anything," Jenna told the Springfield News-Leader. "But then my dad said, 'No wait! There's a monster buck behind it!' I saw it and went 'whoa!'"
But with the buck behind brush, they were forced to wait for a clearer shot. Thankfully, a smaller buck happened on to the scene caused the big one to get upset.
After scaring off the smaller buck, the bigger one walked towards them and eventually turned and presented a broadside shot.
"I said, 'Dad, I have a clear shot!' I was thinking how I can't mess this up, I can't miss it," Jenna told the Springfield News-Leader. "I aimed right behind the front leg where the heart and lungs are, like we learned at WOLF school."
The shot ended up being perfect, but Jenna and her father and brother began to get a little worried when they started to blood trail it. After an hour of searching with no sign, they went back to where the shot was taken and started over by having Jenna and her brother mark where the deer had been standing with flashlights.
After that, they quickly found the bruiser buck hadn't gone far at all.
"I took off 30 or 40 yards down the hill and found him dead," David told the Springfield News-Leader. "It was a beautiful shot. The bullet didn't exit."
"All I could say was 'Oh my goodness,'" Jenna told the News-Leader. "My brother said, 'Holy cow that is huge. That is an absolute thumper.'"
Many hunters go their entire lives without seeing a buck of the caliber Jenna shot (a sentiment echoed by Boone and Crockett scorer Justin Spring). "Even if hers doesn't make it in, that's still a buck of a lifetime for anyone, let alone an 11-year-old," he told the News-Leader.
This year has already been a pretty great season for big deer and for youth hunting success. Last month, a 14-year-old Nebraska girl shot a bull elk that is believed to be a likely new state record.
And just think, November is just getting started. We can't wait to see what other giants fall here in the best weeks of the rut nationwide!