MIKE GILES: Adilyn Vaughn harvests early Christmas buck

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Newton County Middle Schooler Adilyn Vaughn received an early Christmas present when she harvested this 210-pound, 9-point buck with her Browning .308 on Dec. 18.


Adilyn Vaughn is like a lot of 13-year-olds in many respects, but there’s one difference between her and many of the others: She’s a die-hard hunter. Vaughn got an early start while hunting with her favorite hunting partner, NAS firefighter and father Matt Vaughn, an accomplished hunter as well.

Matt Vaughn, like a lot of fathers who enjoy hunting and have children, wanted to pass on his love of the outdoors to those children, and it’s paid off for the father-daughter duo.

“I promised Adilyn last year that I’d do everything I could to help her get a good buck this year,” Vaughn said. “One of the spots we hunt is my granddaddy’s old home site, and I really did a lot of work there to get it in order this past year.”

The old pasture that his grandfather used to work had grown up, so Vaughn went in there and cut a couple of 20-yard-wide lanes to serve as food sources and shooting lanes as well. The tripod stand is facing south with both lanes going out in a V shape from there, with one running to the southwest and the other to the southeast, making it a perfect ambush spot for big bucks.

“We put out game cameras and got several good bucks on them back in August, so we were looking for a good one for her this fall,” Vaughn said. “Adilyn couldn’t wait to go hunting, and on her first trip to another one of our hunting spots, she killed a nice 4-years-old, 8-point buck.”

On Dec. 18, Adilyn decided to hunt the tripod stand, so Matt dropped her off at the stand and left her to hunt by herself for the afternoon.

By 4:30, she’d not seen a deer and was about ready to leave but decided to stay and take a bit of action herself.

“I blew my grunt call, and about five minutes later a big-bodied deer came out and crossed the lane about 70 yards in front of me,” Adilyn said. “There was some brush and limbs in the lane, so I didn’t see how good he was before he disappeared. He never came through the other lane.”

About 45 minutes went by, and Adilyn had about given up hope of seeing the buck again, so she did the only thing she knew to do.

“I pulled out my grunt call again and blew on it, and about two minutes later the buck came out the other lane walking toward me,” Adilyn said. “All I could see was that his body was huge, and I could see antlers sticking up high.”

Who knows what the buck was doing in the thick stuff between the lanes for that period of time, but the anticipation of seeing him again really had her adrenalin pumping.

This time the Newton County seventh-grader Grader was ready and aimed her Browning .308 at the buck, put the crosshairs on him and touched the trigger.

Tic-Boom! As the rifle roared, the trophy buck instantly collapsed in a heap.

“I had an adrenalin rush after I saw him the second time,” Adilyn said. “When he hit the ground and I knew I’d killed him, I just broke down.”

The young lady had nerves of steel with nary a touch of buck fever as she watched the trophy buck work his way methodically toward her. Then she picked out the perfect shot and sealed the deal like an experienced hunter many years older and much wiser would.

Vaughn shot the 210 pound 9-point buck with her Browning .308 that had a Boss Kick Suppression system and a Luepold Vari-X 3, 3X9 by 50 MM scope.

As a result of her patience and determination, the modern-day Annie Oakley waited until the time was right and delivered the perfect shot to the trophy buck, making a lifetime memory with her dad and receiving a cherished Christmas present that they will never forget.

Call Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or email mikegiles18@comast.net.

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