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"Kenady 31-inch Trophy Buck"
Photo provided by: Dakota Converse

Dakota Converse writes, "My daughter (Kenady Converse) who is 13 got her first buck tag this year. It was a late-season Nevada tag and she was excited!! I had gotten her a new 308 Tikka light with the vortex crossfire scope on it for her birthday this year. We had been out several times shooting the gun and making sure it was dialed in. Opening day landed on a Monday but she had school that week so we had to wait until Saturday to get out.

We left the house early that morning with hopes of finding a big buck. We met up with two of my childhood friends that wanted to come along to help find her a good buck. Her and I had talked about holding out for something good and not shooting the first thing that we saw. The deal was we were going to hold out for a 4-point or better. We were not having a whole lot of luck and had only turned up a little spike with a group of does. After a few hours of driving and glassing she was beginning to get antsy and it was already going back on our deal and was ready to go and shoot that spike. I told her she needed to be patient and we needed to just keep pushing on.

After checking several other spots, we finally came over a rise and located two groups of antelope and one good 3-point that busted out and went over the hill. As we were sitting there glassing we found a small group of deer off in the distance. We decided to get closer and take a better look. We got about 300 yards out and after giving the buck a good look I told her we should wait and we could find her something better. She was not having it and told me she was going to shoot that buck. She grabbed her rifle, got out and got a good rest. It turned into a waiting game because the buck walk behind the does it was with and held up. It was extremely cold and the wind was blowing making the conditions less than pleasant. The buck finally presented a shot and she touched one off only to shoot right over its back. The deer took off and went up and over the next ridge. Kenady was bummed but not ready to give up. I told her I didn't think that they were spooked too bad and that we might be able to catch up to them. So we grabbed our packs and headed out.

Low and behold the deer did not go that far and met up with another group of deer that were feeding out in the next draw. We tried to close in the distance and ran out of cover 500 yards out. The buck was bedded down in some sagebrush but all the other deer were up and feeding. We discussed our options and she said let's just try to get to that next rock pile. We crawled up to 419 yards away. Kenady pointed ahead and said, "Dad can we get to that next rock pile?" I told her we could try but we were going to have to stay low and belly crawl. We managed to get to 370 yards out and could go no further. I set my pack out in front of her and told her to get a good solid rest. Right about then the buck decided to get up and start feeding with the others. We dialed the scope in to match the yardage and I told her when she had a good shot to let him have it.
The buck turned broadside and stopped, she squeeze one off just to shoot over his back again. This time he only ran about 15 yards and stopped. Kenady had another round in and was back on him as soon as he stopped. I gave her a quick pep talk and told her to quit screwing around put the crosshairs behind his shoulder and let him have it. When she squeezed the next shot off I instantly knew it found its mark. The deer hunched up and only made it about 30 feet before tipping over and was done. Kenady jumped up and was ALL SMILES!!! She did it, she hammered that buck at 370 yards.

When we walked up on it we all realize the buck was a lot bigger than what we originally thought it was. She was beyond excited and to say I was proud of her was an absolute understatement. We took a measurement to see just how wide he really was. I could not believe it but she just shot a buck that went 31" wide. I took a moment to explain to her what it meant to shoot a buck that breaks the 30-inch benchmark and how many people not only don't see a buck in the field that wide let alone harvest one. I think the reality of it set in when she asked how many deer I have taken that were that big. When I told her I have never taken a buck over 30 inches and she just had me beat on her first buck. The already big smile got even bigger and the bragging rights we're established."

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