This is what it is all about… Great Job Emma, we are super proud of you…
I’d like to nominate my daughter – Emma Moore; she is 11 years old. She has been at my side fishing for trout but has often mentioned how she would really like to hunt. In February 2013, she took her hunter safety course and passed. On the way home, I asked her if she would like me to enter her into the draw. Instantly, her reply was, “yes!” I asked what she wanted to hunt. She replied elk with a bow. I told her that she was probably not big enough to kill an elk with a bow yet. She was disappointed. I asked her if there was anything else she wanted to hunt. She replied with put me in for everything.
Between the time of putting in for the draw and getting the results, we hunted turkey with our friends Carl and Robin (his daughter) Abrams. We got skunked. However, Emma got her own 20 gauge over/under so now, she is prepared for bird hunting.
When the draw was released, we were excited that Emma drew a once in a lifetime Oryx tag on the WSMR. She practiced all summer long with a Remington 700 Mountain Rifle, which I had customized for her length of pull. She went from shooting a reduced recoil load to the hottest load that I could find – Winchester 180 grain XP3. She not only handled the load well, but she also maintained her accuracy.
We joined Robin (her friend) on her antelope hunt and watched her take an antelope. This only fueled Emma’s fire for hunting. We went to WSMR in late September for her hunt. We hunted hard Friday (after the safety brief), Saturday, and Sunday. We jumped oryx and spotted and stalked oryx for 3 long days. That was one of the harder hunts that we have had on WSMR (Stallion). On Saturday, we spotted 4 oryx about 1.5 miles out. We decided to go after them. We stalked to within 40 yards of them. They were bedded in the brush. Turns out, there were 6 of them. We sat there for about 5 minutes quietly picking them through the brush and trying to show the children (Robin, Carl’s daughter was with us) where they were. I told Emma to pick one out, and when they stood, she would only have a second or so to shoot. Well, they stood, and Emma was so excited that the gun never barked once. Instead, I could see that Emma was almost shaking because she was so excited.
That night she told me that she blew it and was worried that she would not be able to get one. I was beginning to doubt myself about putting her in for a once in a lifetime tag. I told her that we would do our best the next day, but she needed to be prepared because you could go overs and days hunting, but sometimes you only have a second or so opportunity to pull it off. The next day, we went out again, and got into some Oryx. They were about 110 yards off, and the they spotted us and took off. Emma and I chased after them after they hit a hill. I was in the lead with her following me. When we were running towards them, a doe popped up out of no where and shocked both of us. The oryx were gone at that point, but we gave it a try.
We decided to go down to the southern part of Stallion around lunch time. The kids were getting hungry, and Carl and I decided to make some dehydrated food for them while we glassed for oryx. All of sudden, Carl pulled me to the side exclaiming that there were 3 typical horned oryx running our way. I pulled Emma out of the truck and got her set up in a prone position. They were at 220 yards – a stretch for her, but still doable. They came within range and were still running. Carl honked the truck horn, and they stopped. Still, the Remington did not bark. Emma was frustrated, and said that she had no shot (she was on an elevated position trying to shoot down from a prone position…for an adult, this was doable but not for an 11 year old). We hopped into the truck and sped down the road. The oryx were still running. We got about a mile ahead of them. Emma and I bailed out of the truck and ran about 300 yards out into the desert. We looked and looked but could not located them. I looked behind us thinking what in the heck…where did they go? Then, I spotted them running straight at us. I turned Emma around and pointed to them. I ranged them at 110 yards and told her that they were still running towards us. I told her to pick out any one of them that she wanted. She did. They stopped at 65 yards, and she shot at the lead cow. The cow oryx was quartering to us, and Emma hit that oryx hard. The oryx side stepped about 10 feet after the shot while I was telling (maybe even yelling???) shoot it again, shoot it again. Emma was so excited that she ejected the shell but jammed it when she put the bolt forward. She handed me the rifle, and I cleared the jam and gave her the rifle right when the oryx fell. I cannot explain to anyone the way I felt knowing that my 11 year old daughter just killed a typical oryx on a once in a lifetime hunt.
The cow was not huge – it was 31″, but when we got to the gate, we were told that we were one of the lucky ones. Out of the 65 (or so) tags for the hunt, there were only about half of the hunters who were successful with only half of those being able to take a typical. We were told that the cold winter from 3 years ago had hit the oryx herd hard, and that many of the survivors only had 1 horn due to the extreme cold temperatures. They told us that her oryx was definitely considered a trophy. Regardless of what they had told us, this oryx was a true trophy. This oryx also cemented the fact that now she wants to hunt regardless of being successful or anything else.
We went out to hunt cow elk with a muzzleloader (again, having one of mine customized for her). Again, we had no success, but she did get a muzzleloader out of it. To boot, she got a Diamond Infinity Edge bow for Christmas. She now has her own 20 gauge shotgun, a 30-06 rifle, a Knight .50 muzzleloader, and a bow. She is now all set for future hunts!!!
I do not have the ability to upload photos for her along with this nomination, but if you want some, please get me your email address, and I will submit some. Thanks.