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Beartooth Regular
2,214 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,
My dad hunted only woodchucks when I was very young, and he would shoot them so far away I couldn't even see them! It was exciting, but since I never even saw a live one up close, I was kind of discouraged. My grandfather took me hunting for everything else - ducks, quail, doves, rabbits, squirrels, and deer. I don't know how old I was, but I remember being too small to even hold up the long-barrelled pump shotguns everyone in our area used. I used to make a litttle nest of fallen leaves at Pappy's feet while he was on stand. Eventually I was big enough to borrow a shotgun from my uncle, and one year I did actually shoot at a deer. I would guess, today, that the deer was about 80-90yds away; the front bead totally obliterated the target!
I hunted many years with Pappy, and, together, we took all manner of small game. I learned a lot and developed a great love of hunting and respect for wildlife, but we never got a deer together. Pappy developed macular degeneration and got too blind to hunt.
A year or two after Pappy stopped hunting, I was hunting with a friend of the family. I finally had my own shotgun by that time. We had hunted all morning with no success, in an area that had harvested corn fields and woodlots. Then after lunch, I climbed back up into my tree stand, which overlooked one of the fields. I had just settled down, and I probably had only been there fifteen minutes or so. I was looking to my right along a big irrigation ditch; when I looked back left there were three deer standing out in the field, eating the fallen corn kernals! I picked the biggest one, and shot - she went down from a shoulder shot but was still struggling, so I shot again (missed!) and finally my third shot went down between the shoulders and out the belly, finishing her off. The first shot would have been fine, but I had been reading a lot about shooting 'til the game is down! The game warden who checked the deer kind of kidded me about that, saying that this must have been one tough deer!
The best part was taking the deer over to Pappy's house. He couldn't have been prouder and happier. Since he couldn't see straight in front of him, he peered at the deer from all kinds of odd angles trying to get a look, and touched every inch, feeling the muzzle, the ears, the smooth fur along the back, and huge tail.
I was disappointed we didn't get the deer together, but I was happy we got to finally share success before he was gone.
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