The buck popped out of the timber 80 yards across an alfalfa field and headed straight for them. “I was saying, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this,’” Emma recalls, “but in my head I was thinking, ‘You can do this, just calm down. You blew up a milk jug at 50 yards, you can do this.’”
BJ (left) was trying to talk her through it. “I told her to keep inching the gun over to keep him in the scope. He stopped at 50 yards and stared straight at us, and I thought, ‘Uh-oh, he knows something is up.’ I asked if she was on him, and she said she was. So I told her to get him.”
When Emma was 8, Gerrit tested her readiness for her first deer season by setting up milk jugs at 50 yards and letting her shoot 50 grains of powder. She centered every jug. Now, as she settled the buck’s shoulder in her crosshairs, she concentrated on squeezing the trigger smoothly.
“With only 50 grains of powder, you can pretty much see the bullet,” BJ says. “I saw it hit him and it looked pretty good to me. She wanted to climb down right away, but I told her we better give him a minute. What I really wanted to say was, “I can’t feel my legs right now, so you’re going to have to give me a minute because I don’t think I can climb down.’ I was really excited for her.”
The biggest hunt of young Emma Foreman’s life started off on a less-than-promising note, with several bad omens that would have sent many hunters home. But Emma persevered—and was rewarded with a 200-class Iowa bruiser. Read on to find out how the 11-year-old girl from Truro, Iowa, has already downed the buck of a lifetime.