Nunda's Dylan Main his father David and the deer he shot.
Young hunter’s first day was a memorable outing
Some hunters have to wait years to get their first deer, let alone a good-sized buck. That process can involve hour after hour of sitting cramped and motionless in tree stands or ground blinds in all kinds of weather and temperatures, hoping for the right one to come along, but more often than not going home disappointed.
Sometimes other wildlife will come along to break up the monotony, maybe squirrels, or a fox, or a hawk swooping down on some prey, but real excitement is usually pretty hard to come by.
But in the case of 14 year-old Dylan Main of Nunda, neither of those scenarios held true.
Not only did he bag a big 11-point buck in the first hour of his first day hunting, the short wait was punctuated by the appearance of a bear, which not only ambled by, but actually charged at him.
“It was still dark when my dad and I got into the woods (near Friendship),” said Dylan. “We got into our ground blind and were sitting with our backs to each other.
It wasn’t very long before he told me that he saw a bear. I thought he was joking and I didn’t believe him, but he told me he was serious so I turned around and looked, and it was about 60 yards away.
“It started coming our way, and I got nervous and kept asking my dad what we were going to do if it came right up to us. It kept coming, and at about 40 yards it caught wind of us and started charging.
My dad took the gun from me just in case (he needed to shoot), but when it got to about seven yards away he just stood up and started hollering and waving his arms, and it turned and ran away.”
It turned out to be not a very big bear, although probably big enough for Dylan not to have wanted to wrestle with that early in the morning. The encounter provided more than enough excitement for anyone for one day, but his heart barely had time to stop racing before it started pounding all over again.
“It was only about ten minutes later when I heard something coming though the woods. My dad was on the phone telling people what had happened, so I told him I thought I heard some deer and for him to use his call.
He used it, but he didn’t expect any action right away so he went back to his phone and started sending a text message.
“Then I saw two deer heading our way. I pulled up and sighted in on the first one, but my dad was looking by then and said to shoot the second one, because it was bigger.
“So I shot at the second one, and they both took off running. We waited awhile, then started tracking, but we were disappointed because we couldn’t find a blood trail. But then we came to a cornfield, and saw him standing down one of the rows. He laid down when he saw us, so I did too, then army-crawled to where I could get a good shot.”
“I shot laying down, but he got up and started running, so I got up too and emptied the gun. My last shot dropped him, so I was able to go up and finish him off. It turned out I had gut shot him with my first shot, which is what slowed him down and why there wasn’t a lot of blood.”
When the smoke had cleared, what Dylan had on his hands was an 11-pointer that weighed 201 pounds field dressed, and had a rough rack score of 148. Not a bad-sized buck to bag for anyone at all, not only a kid on the first hour of his first hunt.
But then again, maybe Dylan isn’t your average hunter. He’s already claimed a wild turkey, a prey more elusive than deer, and was only 12 at the time.
Could his whiz-bang beginning be only the start of a lifetime of record trophy hunting, leading to a syndicated hunting TV program, and world fame and renown?
That’s for fate to decide, but for now his quest for another deer will have to wait until next year to resume
“I got my license application in late,” he said, “so I missed out on getting a doe permit.”