James Craine: Last day, first buck

James Craine

Youth hunter’s first deer was a good one

Two days before his 9th birthday, James Craine was determined to complete his goal of killing his first deer this season. He did just that on Jan. 2, 2023, North Carolina’s last day of the 2022/23 deer hunting season.

“He swore at the beginning of the season he was going to kill his first deer. And we were starting to believe it wouldn’t happen,” said Matt Craine, the youth hunter’s dad.

Craine had his share of opportunities throughout the season, but he passed on numerous deer, wanting a “good buck” to be his first. He was hunting in a blind with his dad and a family friend, and he shot the buck from 125 yards away.

“He shot him at 125 yards with a .308, by himself, while sitting on my knee. My best friend helped him get the gun positioned in the window because it was too heavy for James to pick up,” said his dad.

The buck weighed 185 pounds, and seemed to be an aging deer.

“He was an older deer that broke his leg. We saw him hobbling around during the rut, still chasing does. James dropped him in his tracks,” he said.

It was an emotional time for the father/son duo.

“I’m a proud dad. Buck fever had him shaking for 45 minutes!” he said.

It’s a memory they’re both sure to remember for the rest of their lives. And that’s what it’s all about.



About Brian Cope 2495 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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