The four all killed deer within a week of each other
Andi Grae Wingate, 9, got things started the second week of October, taking her first deer, a 97-pound doe. She was hunting in a stand with her parents, Vicki and Bill Wingate, overlooking a soybean field, when she made a 100-yard shot with her H&R 7mm-08.
"It was her first deer, and her first time shooting that rifle, so we were very excited," said her mom Vicki Wingate.
Haley-Roone McCaffrey, 10, followed Wingate's feat a few days later on Oct. 13 when she got her first buck, a 6-point, 137-pounder. She killed it with a .243 while hunting with her father on hunt club land in Sumter County.
Next up, on Oct. 14, was Dubose Alderman, 11, who pushed the envelope a little further when she bagged her own 6-point buck that tipped the scales at 167 pounds. Alderman, hunting the same hunt club as McCaffrey, was sitting in a condo stand with her father. The deer snuck in from behind the stand, but Alderman got a clean shot with her Remington 7mm-08 and laid it on the ground.
Finally, on Oct. 18, 10-year-old Madison Elmore used her Remington 7mm-08 to put the icing on the cake for the four girls. She took her first buck – maybe the buck of a lifetime – after passing on several smaller bucks over the past several years. Hunting on property that adjoined the land where McCaffrey and Alderman tagged their bucks, Elmore was sitting in a box stand overlooking a powerline with her father when an 8-point, 190-pound buck came by, pushing a 6-pointer.
"I decided not to shoot the 6-point and was a little disappointed, but then I saw the big 8," she said. "My dad told me I wouldn't have a lot of time because he knew this deer was running the smaller one off. The 8 started to move, too, but then my dad grunted, and the buck stopped and looked up. I really didn't have time to get nervous, so I don't remember shaking or anything. I squeezed the trigger and hit him. He eased in to the woods, and we found him about 30 minutes later. And THAT is when I started shaking."
Larry Kirven, who owns the property where McCaffrey and Alderman took their deer, was thrilled with the results."This is what it's all about – getting the young folks involved and interested in the outdoors," he said. "These four young girls, all friends and all from the same school, spending time with their parents outdoors -- we need the younger generation to get excited about the outdoors, and hopefully these young girls will inspire other kids to spend more time outside."