As host of Winchester World of Whitetail I’m fortunate to hunt some outstanding deer with great guides in spectacular places. So far this year we’ve finished 8 hunts, taking several old, heavily racked 10 pointers and one perfectly balanced 6×6. But the biggest trophy so far was this one.
It’s a boy’s first deer.
I played guide on this North Idaho hunt with 13-year old Rhett Sandquist as my “client.” Rhett was on his first deer hunt, but he performed like a veteran. Cool, calm and collected. He stalked expertly, crawled into position, waited patiently for the perfect shot — and made it. From 320 yards away. A one-shot kill with a little Mossberg ATR rifle in .243 Winchester using 95-grain Winchester Ballistic Silvertips. Many shooters think the 243 Win. isn’t “enough gun” for deer, but it’s a perfect choice for anyone learning to shoot. Little or no recoil, so no flinching. A 95-grain bullet like the Ballistic Silvertip at about 3,000 fps is more than enough to send a whitetail to the freezer. Combine it with an accurate rifle like the Mossberg (groups right at MOA) and a bright scope like the Bushnell Elite 6500 and you’re set.
Rhett is the grandson of my dear old friends Lynda and Ken Sandquist and youngest son of Kevin and Moreesa Sandquist, salt-of-the-earth folks who are maintaining their family farm and country traditions. The three boys, Rhett, Mitchell and Clint, are active in 4H and the usual school activities, but Kevin and Moreesa make sure they learn firearms safety and responsibility, too. Clint and Rhett have taken their first whitetails on the family farm, and Mitchell has taken his first turkey. The boys help with butchering and cooking, too.
The future of hunting and America look bright with families like this in the mix.