Nature Column: Mom and son enjoy successful deer hunt

Oftentimes in this column, you'll read about a father/son who has shared a successful big-game hunt together.

But this story has a different twist.

This column is about a Kingman mother who was hunting with her son when he bagged his first mule deer last year.

Lane Brock is only 11 years old, but he likes to hunt. In 2008, he drew one of the coveted junior's muzzleloader deer tags in Unit 16A, the Hualapai Mountains. Despite spending a lot of time in the field with his father, Pat, the young man found out that hunting doesn't always mean you'll put a tag around some buck's antlers.

But 2009 was a new year, and his hunting exploits turned out a little different.

First, the young Kingman sportsman drew a junior's javelina tag in Unit 16A, and with his entire family on the mountain with him, Lane bagged his first big-game animal.

Lane decided to forgo applying for another muzzleloader hunt and instead applied for a rifle deer tag in Unit 16A.

Lane's mother, Michelle, who is very proud and supportive of her son's desire to hunt, also applied for a general deer tag in Unit 16A.

Lady Luck smiled on the two and both got deer tags.

But this hunt was going to take a different direction. It was decided that Michelle, not Pat, would be in the field with the young hunter.

Pat did do some of the pre-season scouting, and the day before the hunt opened, he found a bachelor band of three bucks.

It was decided that while Pat stayed in camp to play camp cook with his youngest son, Michelle and Lane would go out together.

The next morning before daylight, Lane and his mother were out in the pre-dawn darkness waiting for it to get light enough to look for the three bucks.

As the darkness gave way to the new day, the pair started working up the ridge where the bucks had last been seen. They worked the area very slowly, with Michelle handling the glassing chores.

They had been hunting for a couple of hours when Michelle decided to check in with her husband, who was back at camp. Michelle told Pat they had not seen anything and were getting hungry.

Then Michelle looked over onto a ridge, and despite looking almost directly into the sun, she saw a single deer looking at them.

She told Lane to get set up while she attempted to determine if the deer was a doe or a buck.

Suddenly, the deer moved its head and both she and her son saw that it was a buck. Lane didn't waste any time. "Almost before I could say anything, Lane was on that deer and fired," Michelle said.

At the shot, the 3-by-2 buck literally dropped in its tracks. The buck was right at 200 yards away, and the young hunter was using a 243 rifle when he made the quick, one-shot harvest.

Then, two other bucks jumped up but quickly left for the safety of the junipers before Michelle could even get her rifle up.

She couldn't believe what she had just witnessed. Her son had made a perfect shot and had his first mule deer buck.

"It was a great moment for me," Michelle said. "It was really amazing."

Lane's mom was so excited that her husband could not understand her when she called him back on the radio to tell him what had happened.

"Lane had to tell him what happened," Michelle said.

Even though Michelle also had a tag, she became ill after opening day and never got the opportunity to fill her tag.

But it didn't matter to the Kingman mom.

"Just being with him when he got that buck was very special to me," she said.

"It was a perfect hunt."