brown deer at open field

My First Big Game Deer

Let’s take a trip back in time. I had hunted small game for a few years. But never big game like deer or turkey! Then my future father-in-law asked me to go deer hunting on opening weekend in 2-days. I replied, “I have no gun and never hunted deer before.” But I was excited about the chance to go hunting deer. (My family never hunted or fished.) I went and purchased a Remington 7400, 30-06 auto.

The first day of the hunt rained all day, although I was so wet it ran out of my shoes. I remained by my tree until dark! When I got home, I received a phone call about another place to hunt the next day. We would have to leave at 2:30 a.m. to get there. So I said okay, and that’s left us with about 2 1/2 – 3 hours to sleep until quitting time. It was 15 degrees the following day. We stopped at a little store close to where we were going to hunt and got something to eat for dinner. Hunting was still new to me compared to small game hunting. There were seven guys total; one guy named Rick had been there before, so he explained where he thought everybody should go and wished everyone good luck!

Here we go with flashlights shining, hoping I was in the right direction in, which Rick had tried to explain to me on the hood of the truck. I went in the order I thought I should go and sat down! Hoping to see a deer!! At almost daybreak, I grabbed a pop and candy bar. Yes, I know in 15 degrees weather drinking a dad, but I don’t taste coffee. My father was good and cold, but I had a problem with my snickers bar. It was so hard I couldn’t bite into it! So I gave up on my candy bar at daybreak!

Keeping my eyes open in all directions was all I had been told and not to move. At 8:15 a.m., I saw a deer. It was in some brush, but I couldn’t know if it was a doe or buck! Hearing several gunshots around me, I decided to take a shot. I put my crosshairs on its shoulder and pulled the trigger. KaBoom – it hit the ground. I jumped up to see if anybody else was around. I looked back, and the deer I had just shot had stood back up! Nervous and not knowing what to do, I picked up my gun again (shaking), finally got my crosshairs on the shoulder, and shot again. KaBoom – it hit the ground again!!!!

Still looking for somebody and making sure that my first deer didn’t decide to get up again, I decided to walk over to the deer. I still didn’t even know the sex of the deer. When I got to where the deer was lying, I jumped for joy; it was a small buck! But as I got closer, something was different. It had only the left side antler still attached, and the other antler was laying about 10 inches from the downed buck. After looking, I realized I had shot the right side antler off right at the base, and the other shot was in the backbone. After field dressing my buck, and by the way, this was a trip, remember I had only hunted and killed the small game. While dragging my buck back to the truck, everything looked different now! With no one in sight to help with a 200-pound deer, I began pulling it a half-mile to a mile to the truck.

Finally, I got to the truck! Still nobody around, and I waited for help to load it into the truck. Eventually, help arrived, and the other guys laughed because I had shot the buck’s antler off. My buck weighed 125 pounds and was 14″ 8 points. Maybe a tiny deer to some but a trophy in my eyes! It’s not the size of the deer that matters, but the fact is I was happy, and after that feeling, I continued to hunt every chance I got!

Until next time.

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