_–Chad Love


_Here’s a story about a ten-year-old Louisiana boy who tagged a massive, 18-point buck earlier this month. On the face of it, it seems to be one of the typical “boy kills monster buck” stories we see every season.

You know, the kind of story that causes you to wail and gnash your teeth as the black bile of envy rises up in your throat. But this one has an unusual twist in that this ten-year-old boy did it all by himself.

From this story on

Ten-year-old Jack Dekeyzer is an accomplished deer hunter, not to mention being mature for his age. Therefore, his father Peter Dekeyzer was OK with letting his son make his first solo hunt on family property in early January. “Jack has been hunting with me for several years now and has already killed four does and little bitty ‘hill’ deer that had 9 points with a 10-inch spread. So, when he asked if he could hunt by himself, I really didn’t give it a second thought,” the elder Dekeyzer said.

“…On the afternoon of Jan. 2, Peter Dekeyzer took his son to the deer stand, gave him the usual parental cautions, and instructions on what to do if he did shoot a deer. Dekeyzer then went to another stand about 400 yards down the road set up on a power line. It was cold and the deer were definitely on the move. “I heard something running behind my deer stand,” Jack said. “This went on for about 40 minutes before it finally stopped. Shortly afterwards, I saw two deer walk into the food plot. I picked up my scope and I saw one of them had two large double main beams. “He just stood there looking at me,” Jack said. “I had to wait until he turned. When he was broadside, I shot and my bullet hit him in the lungs, right behind his heart. The buck’s back legs kicked out and he trotted off into the woods, then he started walking.”

It brings up an interesting question: when do you finally let your child hunt alone? These days it seems as if hardly any children hunt small game as a gateway into the hunting world, instead choosing to jump right into deer hunting. So when would you feel comfortable leaving your child alone in a deer stand?