Kayla Buie of Knightdale has goals: become a lawyer, play on the U.S. women’s national soccer team, show her children a souvenir from the weekend she killed her first deer.
She plans to treasure the 7mm-08 shell casing from the youth model Ruger American rifle she fired during the Quality Deer Management Association National Youth Hunt held Oct. 22-25 in southwestern Georgia.
“Maybe I will show my kids what I did when I was younger and get them interested, if I still do that,” said Kayla, 11, who was one of 11 chosen youths, each of whom bagged a deer.
The sixth-grader missed the first day to take end-of-quarter exams at Daniels Magnet Middle School in Raleigh. Twin brother Reggie wasn’t chosen, so he spent time with mom Karen. Kayla, who said she is a student council member, gets A’s and B’s and is in the STEM program, caught up on sleep during the drive with their dad, also Reggie, a QDMA-Triangle Branch member.
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Buie grew up hunting with his father, Redell, and takes his children on hunts to watch, but he said he wasn’t ready to try to teach them to shoot. The proud dad appreciated the trained QDMA volunteers.
“To go from never firing a firearm to learning how to do it and then actually making a kill, … they did a great job training the kids and preparing them,” he said after a branch meeting at Cabela’s in Garner.
Branch leader Sid Adkins nominated Kayla for the national hunt, which, as with any hunt, consisted of long waits and bursts of excitement.
The Girl Scout and active churchgoer lost one doe but learned a lesson.
“Never put your face too close into the scope for a shot,” she said, using a forefinger to redraw the knot that marked the middle of her forehead for a few days.
On her last outing, she was shaking with nervousness and passed up a shot. She settled as more deer approached.
“I took the safety off, and when I shot, I got it in the lungs,” she said, saying she was shaking again, but with excitement.
Darkness hid the trail, but a search party found the deer, a button buck instead of a doe.
Whether she’ll hunt decades into the future, she’s not sure, but for now, she says, she’s hooked. She even provided her own story-ending kicker.
“It was her first deer,” she said, “and definitely not her last.”
Learn more about QDMA at www.qdma.com.
Input needed: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is holding public meetings as it develops game lands management plans:
▪ Cape Fear River Wetlands, Nov. 30, Burgaw.
▪ Bertie County, Dec. 1, Windsor.
▪ Neuse River, Dec. 3, New Bern.
Learn more or comment at www.ncwildlife.org.
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