Whitetail Properties Land Specialist Zane Goodwin grabbed his son, 9-year-old Ryder, from school on September 12, 2014, and raced to Kansas to set up for the evening youth hunt. With a lot of mature buck activity, the pair knew Ryder's chances of tagging a big buck were real, but did they foresee the 168-inch monster Ryder would inevitably take?
Zane shares the story of the hunt:
We had been watching the buck for a few years, and decided to give him another year after naming him Frenchy because he had a tendency of having his tongue out all the time. We rushed to Kansas as soon as school was out Friday evening, and decided to set the same blind Roan and I had the weekend before. Mature buck activity was good. We had a little work to do to set up some of the other blinds and stand sets for the boys still.
A major cool front had set in, which was rare for early September, so we were planning on the deer movement being strong with lows hitting the 40s that night.
We spooked a few nice bucks and does with fawns when going in, but we were out of options at 5:30, so we continued to the blind that sits in the middle of three 5-acre bean fields in a river bottom. Minimal movement occurred up till 7:00 p.m., when some young bucks began feeding in the bean field. All of a sudden two young bucks became six of all different ages, and then seven. We knew the buck as soon as he stepped out and got set up to video and harvest him. The rest is history and a 168-inch bruiser was taken by 9-year-old Ryder Goodwin.
Ryder dropped this buck-of-a-liftetime with a .30-30 lever-action rifle.
NRA Family InSights: At what age did you allow your son/daughter to begin hunting, and how did you decide when the time was right?
Zane Goodwin: At 6 years old, but a specific age does not make a child ready.When I felt he understood the importance of gun safety, and could find the target and accurately shoot 100 yards with a rifle.
NRA Family InSights: How did you decide on the right equipment to help make him successful?
Zane Goodwin: I did a lot of research, along with trying to keep some family tradition instilled. I could write an article on this: Teaching target acquisition, training with a .22 rifle, cartridge recoil, shooting only spent shells and using the rifle that child will be shooting for target acquisition (one of the hardest things for new shooters), best scope with proper eye relief, blind hunting and ladder stand hunting, etc.
NRA Family InSights: What's something you've learned from taking a youth hunting?
Zane Goodwin: No money in the world can replace the pride and joy you feel when you see your child succeed and have interest in something you are so passionate about.
NRA Family InSights: What's the best part about going hunting?
Ryder Goodwin: Spending time with Dad.
NRA Family InSights: What's something you've learned from going hunting?
Ryder Goodwin: To shoot the buck in the vitals, and how to be patient.
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About Whitetail Properties: Founded in 2007, Whitetail Properties Real Estate has exploded into North America's top place to buy and sell recreational hunting, ranch and farm land. Whitetail Properties has expanded operations into 20 states and counting, enlisting a staff of hard-working, knowledgeable and passionate Land Specialists. Whitetail Properties TV airs on The Sportsman Channel showcases the benefits of owning land with heart-pounding hunts and land management tips. To browse prime hunting, ranch and farm land currently for sale or to contact a Whitetail Properties Land Specialist, visit WhitetailProperties.com.