Luke Hanks, 7, pictured with his third deer of the season. Hanks shot this eight point buck Nov. 24. Camp Hill. | Alison James

Archived Story

Dadeville youth kills three deer

Published 2:26pm Thursday, November 29, 2012

One local 7-year-old is having a very successful first hunting season.

Luke Hanks, a first grader at Dadeville Elementary, has shot three deer since youth season opened.

Luke shot his first deer in Goodwater Nov. 11, the day before his seventh birthday. Six days later he shot his first buck, a six-point, in Camp Hill.

“He was super pumped,” said his father, Rhett Hanks. “He made a really outstanding shot.”

Luke shot his third deer, an eight point, Nov. 24, and said he was so excited about being able to kill his own deer.

“I’ve gone hunting with my dad a bunch of times, but he was always killing the deer,” Luke said. “This is the first year I’ve gotten to.”

This is also the first time Luke has been able to take off his compression sleeves since suffering severe burns at age 5.

“Luke was accidentally burned on his right arm and leg,” Rhett said. “He’s worn compression sleeves since to try and minimize the scarring. He’s on his last set now, but up until now he’s worn them all day every day.”

After Luke’s accident, doctors at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham removed portions of his thigh to use for skin graphs on his arm and leg.

“He was burned so deeply it actually burned through his nerve endings,” Rhett said. “He was scared right when it happened, but he did really well. It was amazing for someone at such a young age.”

Rhett said Luke remained strong during his more than two weeks at Children’s Hospital, even through the grueling daily cleanings.

“He was such a brave little boy,” Rhett said. “He came through like a champ.”

Luke said he plans to continue hunting and is even asking Santa for another gun this Christmas.

“He’s really gotten the bug now,” Rhett said. “I’m glad he’s interested in (hunting). It’ll be something we can do and share together.”