Practice makes perfect.
That’s the lesson Payton Mireles, age 10, learned firsthand in 2012 after bagging an amazing Indiana buck. Mireles spent the offseason practicing with her Marlin .357 Magnum lever-action, honing her skills for a chance at a great buck.
Her persistence paid off on the first morning of opening weekend, as the monster buck chased a doe down a trail right in front of where Mireles was positioned. She got in shooting position, squeezed off a shot and watched as the buck tried to run off. Seventy yards into its flight, the trophy buck dropped dead.
Mireles, who hunts with her Uncle Jimbo, was ecstatic about killing her first buck. Uncle Jimbo said they’d seen the giant on trail camera photos and named him “the King.”
As for Mireles, she’s set the bar pretty high for the rest of her life, but it’s a memory she won’t soon forget.
- Knowing I couldn’t even come to my knees without breaking the little concealment we had, I decided to lie on my left side, using my left elbow for as solid a rest as could be achieved within the slight incline of the old fencerow. But when I shouldered the rifle, the sight of the crosshairs oriented at a 10-4 o’clock angle was definitely a different look from the normal 12-6 position we all practice from. Even so, I didn’t figure that would matter if I aimed at the right spot and squeezed off a clean shot. I settled the crosshairs where I needed to place the bullet and steadied the rifle. Whispering “fire in the hole” while floating the crosshairs on the spot, I gently squeezed the trigger until the recoil removed the buck from my view. Read the full story.