I love stories like this…
Mr. Chavez sent me this story about his girls..
Let me begin by introducing myself, Tom Chavez and the stars of my story, my daughter’s DeAndra (Doj) and Erika Chavez. To begin, my daughters ages are Doj 16 and Erika 15. The photos attached are of their 09 Cow Elk Youth Encouragement Hunt in Unit 53. Both girls are accomplished hunters, Doj has 1 bull elk, 1 cow elk, 1 muley buck and 1 antelope buck under her belt. Erika has 1 cow elk, 1 antelope buck, 1 muley buck and 1 OLT Oryx to her name. I enrolled them together in the NM Hunter’s Safety course at ages 11 & 10. Over the past 5 years, as you can tell we have been rather successful in their hunting careers.
Having not drawn any tags for the 09 season, my girls were fortunate to be able to receive ES elk tags under the new Youth Encouragement hunts. Although the time of year, Dec, was extremely cold, -17, the first morning out, we were able to get within 75yds of a bachelor group of bulls, 9 of them in all. We were set up in the sage flats north of Questa and watching the bulls as they made their way to their bedding areas. As the bulls approached, I had both girls set up on bi-pods kneeling in the sage. As the bulls got closer I could feel the excitement in both girls as they scanned for the bulls in their scopes. Trying to maintain my composure was not easy when I was asking both of them if they could find the bull they wanted and make sure they weren’t both targeting the same bull. As luck would have it, the clouds began to break and we were set up facing directly East so the sun prevented them from being able to find anything in their scopes!! Chalk that mistake up to dad. With the intnese cold, and sitting out in the sage for over an hour all my girls wanted was the truck and a drive to the Pendleton Station for hot chocolate. That evening we went back out and found the herd but they weren’t coming off private land so we just watched with the spotting scopes from the truck. Knowing the herd would be on forest land in the morning we were back first thing in the morning. With low cloud cover we couldn’t see a thing! The girls began to get antsy and started bugging for their morning hot chocolate, just as I was to give in, our hunting partner, Sancho, spotted the herd about 500-600 yds out and the clouds were beginning to lift. I knew a back road that would put us out in front of the herds route and we quickly skirted around them. As we got to where we wanted to be, we saw the lead cow coming across the sage flat right towards us. We set up both girls on an H-post and had both of them start looking for elk in their scopes. This was a group of cows and calves with one fork antlered bull, of course they both wanted to take the bull!! Being that Doj was the oldest and hadn’t hunted the year before she got the draw of taking the bull if she had the chance. As the herd got within 175yds, the little bull would not get out fo the middle of the herd. As Erika said that she was on a small cow and ready, Doj couldn’t handle the pressure of waiting for the bull and chose to sight in on a cow herself. When they both told me they were on them and ready, I let out a few cow calls and stopped the herd. I didn’t even have time to tell them to take their time, when BOOM – BOOM, BOOM -BOOM, they both fired two rounds at the cows they had chosen! Talk about a rush and fiasco while I was trying to spot where and what they had shot at. Luckily, I had been watching Doj’s cow and Sancho was watching Erika’s. Doj’s cow staggered and fell then regained her feet and fled away from the herd, Erika’s cow came running back and away from us and the herd. We decided that I would go with Doj to track her cow and Sancho and Erika would go after hers. We tracked Doj’s elk about 50yds from where we last saw her, Doj’s .243 wssm had taken her through the ribcage on the first shot and back leg on the second, chalk up another kill for Doj. As we were looking at Doj’s elk we heard Erika’s .243wssm bark one last time, she had connected on her first shot a little back and needed a finishing shot through the neck at 75yds! We were able to get pretty close to retrieve them so the task wasn’t too bad, but as their PROUD Daddy, I would have drug and packed for 100 miles if need be.
I have three girls and have always heard the old addage, a man needs a boy to continue his legacy, well I’ve yet to see any of my friends boys shoot, gut and cut as well as my girls can!!
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