Little Macy O’Dell’s idea of birthday shopping for her Dad didn’t involve a trip to the mall, rather a sit in a ground blind.

It was the birthday gift they both wanted, but in different ways. Ever since seeing her Dad and brother take majestic axis bucks near Sonora, Texas, it had been her mission to kill one of her own. She was taken with their antlers and beautiful coats. John was just happy to spend some quality time with his daughter in the Muddy Redemption blind…but he was about to get some extra icing on their little birthday celebration.

The axis bucks in that neck of the woods can breed at any time of year, but tend to focus their rut during the spring. Knowing this, John set up their blind near a watering hole in the hopes of intercepting a cruising buck thirsty from the pursuit.

After having been in the blind for just two hours, three giant axis bucks still in velvet stepped out for a drink, but never offered a shot. Macy was heartbroken.

“Dad, can you call them back in?”

“I’m sorry hun. It doesn’t work like that.”

“I wish your turkey call was an axis deer call.”

Just a few minutes later, another big buck in velvet came to the watering hole for a drink. There were more axis deer coming too and this one turned to watch them as they approached. He was at 33 yards and was in the clear for a shot.

Before the hunt, John had rehearsed shot placement with Macy, since axis deer have vitals lower and farther forward than a whitetail. She leveled her PSE Dream Season RDX 365 crossbow and made a perfect hit as the buck quartered away. The Rage Crossbow Extreme head took it from there, dropping the deer within 30 yards.

Macy’s birthday present for her Dad had her knees knocking and heart pounding long after the deer had gone down…and for good reason. This buck had main beams reaching over 30 inches in length – a great axis buck in anyone’s book, but especially for a young lady who just wanted to make her Dad proud of her on his special day.

Happy birthday John!

As told to Tim Kjellesvik