Osakis 11-year-old Aubrey Loxtercamp was taught to shoot by her grandpa at an early age. On Nov. 4, she executed a shot on a great buck.
Aubrey was hunting with her grandpa, Rick Loxtercamp, near Osakis during the opening weekend of Minnesota's deer firearm season when a group of does and fawns were milling around in front of them. Rick has a rule on his property-no one is allowed to shoot young bucks or fawns. He made an exception for Aubrey last year when she shot her first deer as a 10-year-old, a younger buck. This year was going to be different.
"All the people who hunt there know I have a rule on that," Rick said. "You can't shoot anything but a large buck or a doe. She knows that, too."
Rick and Aubrey were hunting in a piece of woods next to a cornfield when a lone doe came in. This was a deer Aubrey could potentially take, but something else caught her attention.
"Just like that she goes, 'There's a real big one behind her!" Rick said. "The deer went all the way up about 30 yards from us, but it never stopped. I want her to shoot one time. It's got to stop, and she's a pretty good shot."
Aubrey was shooting slugs out of a 20-gauge shotgun as the deer came well within range, but it wouldn't stop moving. Eventually, it had moved further and further away when it turned broadside and stopped.
"She still has the gun on it," Rick said. "It's getting pretty far away, and I said, 'It's pretty far, Aubrey. I'm going to leave it up to you. You probably have to aim a couple inches above the heart.' As I was talking to her, "Boom!" And the deer fell down."
Aubrey was shaking so bad after the shot that Rick said he grabbed the gun from her. The buck was a big 10-pointer with split brow tines on each side.
Rick has been hunting since he was in high school. Now almost 70-years-old, he has taken many deer himself, but being there with his granddaughter for this buck was a special hunt for him and Aubrey alike.
"First it was just amazement. I couldn't believe it," Rick said. "To me, I've been with a lot of adults hunting deer and they never would have kept that calm. She waited until that deer came to a complete stop broadside. That made me very proud, exactly what I taught her."