This is the story all hunters love to tell. Everyone loves to tell the story of their first deer, and how they got hooked. Mine started when I was 14 years old. I had already been hunting squirrels and rabbits behind the house for a couple years then. So I thought I was ready to go hunt the elusive White Tail.
My Dad wasn’t much of a hunter, but as a good father does, he took me. A family friend let us hunt at their farm, south of town. The night before was sleepless. All I could think about, was the excitement that goes a long with the first deer hunt. I would finally be be a deer hunter!
Eventually morning came, and I sprang out of bed. We headed out the door, but not before my Mom was able to give us snacks and breakfast.
The walk back to the spot, felt like it took three hours to get to ( realistically, it took 10 minutes), but I was ready to go! We got set up right next to a huge oak tree that hid both my dad and I’s silhouette.
About 15 minutes after we got settled in, we started to hear tons of footsteps; it was still pretty dark, so we couldn’t tell what was making the steps. For a kid that’s never deer hunted before, the word pumped was an understatement. I thought we were literally surrounded by deer, I thought the sun was going to come up, and I was going to hammer my first ever deer!
Well, it got light enough to see and come to find out we were not surrounded by deer… We were surrounded by about 30 turkeys… They spotted us fairly quickly, and then the woods quieted back down. Every once in a while we would hear, what sounded like 200-pound squirrels scurrying around.
A couple hours go by, and I look off into the distance, and all I see is a giant 10 point rack walking through the woods. The underbrush was hiding his body, I automatically got extremely excited! There he was, a big buck walking towards us, and I thought I would get my shot.. Thought is the word there… He eventually wandered off, staying just out of range of my Marlin 30-30, frustrated was an understatement.
A couple more hours went by, and three deer came walking in. There was a six-point buck, and two does. My dad (who was tired of sitting there, I think) said, shoot him!! So I pulled up my gun and braced it against the tree to stabilize the gun because I was shaking like crazy! I took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger, and BANG!! I missed! Luckily he was still standing there, so I racked another shell, and the second shot connected and dropped immediately.
That feeling…… the feeling right before you shoot, your heart is racing, the adrenaline is pumping. Then the feeling after you made a good shot on the animal is one that every hunter chases. That feeling doesn’t ever go away or fade; every hunt you go on, every hunt you harvest an animal, it feels just like the first time.
As I was admiring the deer I just harvested; Chris (our family friend) comes over. We were all able to share a special moment that I will never in my life forget. That first deer hunt is something nobody ever forgets. The sights, the sounds, and the feelings are something I can still remember to this day, and I will cherish them for the rest of my life.
Thanks for reading my story. I would love to hear about your first hunt in the comments!