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November 19: Ashley Playle

Ashley trembled with adrenaline as a good Missouri ten pointer ambled into range.

She was sitting with her Grandpa, DOD field staffer John Williams during the Missouri firearms season on a piece of property that her parents recently acquired. Back from college for a few days, she wanted to get some quality time in the stand (and with Grandpa too.)

Ashley has killed bigger deer during her career, but that didn’t make her any less excited about this deer. Brother Zach had seen the same deer during archery season, but decided to let it walk. Ashley wasn’t going to let this guy get past her.

As the buck approached, John reassured her and told her to wait for a broadside shot. Patiently, she steadied her Winchester .243 and focused on the deer’s vitals. The buck paused in a good position and Ashley took the shot.

Though a little farther back than she intended, the deer was hit solidly and only made it up the hill before falling over dead. Ashley and Grandpa gave it some time, then went to recover her buck.

This was Ashley’s first deer on her family’s new land and the harvest was only made sweeter by the company she kept during the hunt.

As told to Tim Kjellesvik