First Deer Hunt

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Since I've been around for awhile now I decided to go back and tell about when I was younger and how I got started hunting and loving the outdoors. Although I was born a Yooper in upper Michigan we moved out into the woods of northern Wisconsin when I was 9 years old. My mom and dad both worked and at a very early age I was left by myself with no siblings, to run around with a single shot .22 hunting squirrels all day long. I remember working all summer on local dairy farms for a dollar an hour to save up and buy a bow for my first deer season. My dad never liked to rifle hunt back then due to the army of hunters that showed up from the city for the shorter gun season.

Many times my dad would have to work and he would simply drop me off on the trail near one of our tree stands and then head back to work while I climbed up and hunted till dark. I hunted for nearly a month that first year sitting over an apple pile in a huge old oak tree before things finally came together. My dad hunted as well that night but in another tree about a quarter mile away. It started off bad as after I climbed up into my tree I tried to tie on a string tracker to my broadhead and slipped with it and severely cut my finger on the old satellite heads we used. I remember I panicked a bit and stuck my thumb in my mouth which quickly filled up with blood, after a couple times of that I managed to get a glove on my hand and apply pressure and stop the bleeding a bit. I quickly climbed down from my tree and ran to my dad's stand for help. His solution was simply to cut a strip from his shirt and tie up my thumb tightly and ask if I was ready to keep hunting or go home. Since he didn't get to hunt much I figured I better shut up and get back to my tree and tough it out.

After getting settled again I was surprised after only a few minutes when what I thought was a doe walked out of the brush and began to feed on the apples. I got buck fever so bad and shook so hard I was unable to draw my Darton and managed to hook it on an oak limb and quickly scared the deer away. I sat there in despair for awhile but was soon rewarded when after about 15 more minutes the deer came wandering back in. This time I was able to get a shot off but made a very poorly placed shot. Once again I went to get my dad and after a nearly a two hour tracking job in the dark we were able to recover what turned aout to be a little button buck. It wasn't much but at the time it was the greatest day of my life.

It still amazes me all the safety rules we broke back then and still managed to live through it all. I would never even consider letting my kids do the things I did alone back then.

That night spawned a liflelong passion for hunting that continues to get stronger with every passing year.


Retired2hunt's picture

  There is nothing like the


There is nothing like the elation that you feel when that deer comes back or a second one appears after the despair of scaring the 1st one away! Nice story and with a bow too - great job!

I copy the OUCH on ManOfTheFall's story!



Ca_Vermonster's picture

Great story!  What's even

Great story!  What's even more impressive is that you got your first with a bow, not a rifle!

I have actually tried that a few times the last few years, with turkey, and also for deer.  I could have tried to fill my tag with a rifle, but like your Dad, i decided I may be better off to try and avoid the crowds.  Therefore, I hunted an archery only area.

It didn't work out for me, but still was fun, and peaceful.  Thanks for the story, and great first deer!

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story. It may not have

Great story. It may not have been the smartest thing you ever did, but way to stick it out that day and nail your first deer. One day I climbed up into my stand and when I pulled my bow up just as I was about to grab it it slipped. It started falling and I reached to grab it and my index finger got caught in the top of the bow and I heard a pop and felt a very sharp pain. My index finger was behind my thumb out of place. It was a great early morning hunt in November and I wasn't about to be a wuss and go home. I grabbed my finger clenched my teeth and popped it back into place. It hurt pretty bad. But, later that morning I was rewarded with a very nice 8 point buck. Congratulations on your first deer and thanks for sharing your story. 

SGM's picture

Thanks for sharing. Love

Thanks for sharing. Love those 1970’s glasses. I am sure most of us that have hunted long enough have done one or two stupid/very ill advised things in our career. I guess as long as you learn from that mistake and can live to tell the story it is a good day. I am no different as I cut my thumb skinning of all things a coyote. I had to have surgery to get any feeling back in the thumb and that is only about 75%. Still get a few nicks from time to time but nothing major since that slip up.

jaybe's picture

Thanks for the story. I'm

Thanks for the story. I'm pretty sure that every hunter can remember his or her first deer, bear, turkey or whatever.

ManoftheFall - Ow! You sent chills up my spine just thinking about popping your finger back in place!

I did the same thing to a couple of my buddies a few years ago ice fishing. I accidentally impaled my finger with the tail hook of a lure right after we got started. I wasn't about to mess up the evening bite by asking them to take me anywhere, so I grabbed the hook with my pliers and pulled it backwards out of my finger. It made an audible "pop" when it came out and both my buddies couldn't believe that I did it. (To tell the truth, even though it was in past the barb, it wasn't too terribly deep - - but I never told them that) ;>)


hunter - hope you're getting geard up for another year. Thanks again.