Last Family Deer Hunt

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It has been 5 (initially I thougt it was only 3, but I checked the date on my picture) years since I've hunted Ohio for Whitetails. I distinctly and fondly remember my last hunt there at the cabin with my family. My Uncle Dick, Cousin Chris, my second cousin and bloodbrother Kurt and myself. Just the memory of the exceptional season we had makes me feel closer to my kin. Even though times have been tough for all of us and work is more scarce, it brings me joy to think about the lightheartedness of the deer cabin.

For some reason, the years had been especially mild and the deer population boomed. The sate kept raising limits every year and still, not enough deer were being taken. The limits in this particular year I believe was 6 deer (3 archery, 3 any season tags).

When the season opened, we hit the woods hard and still hunted every creek that might hold a deer. Opening morning, both Chris and Kurt made their kills early. Mine was on the way back to the house for brunch. So, we hoisted our trophies into the meat tree while we told our stories and enjoyed pancakes and bacon. After we ate our fill and took a cat nap, we geared up for round two of day one. Kurt and I took the golf-cart to our favorite hollow and as soon as we sat down, Kurt fired, and I helped him track and drag his deer back to the golf cart. I asked him to drop me off at the top of the next hill on his way back to the meat tree. As soon as he stopped and my feet were on the dirt, I began to load the Remington 870 full of slugs. Kurt made a smart remark and we were joking loudly when I noticed something was amiss. Something was watching me. It was a good size doe... just standing there. I took two steps off the gravel to ensure absolute legality. The doe was down. And the golf cart was loaded full of deer carcasses.

On the way back to the cabin, we hit a stretch of blacktop about 200 yards long... and managed to get pulled over by the game wardens. So they asked some questions, apparently, some hunters were nearby and shot one of our neighbors dogs. We didn't have any good information to pass on to the wardens, they checked our tags and licenses as a formality and congratulated us on our harvest. Then, deer carcasses in tow, we went the rest of the way home.

I have such great memories of this season and wish that we could have many more just the same. To quote Tracy Lawrence, "the only thing that stays the same is everything changes." This is as true as I have ever witnessed anything to be.

What a great time that I enjoyed with some of my closest family.

To describe the picture of handling the muzzleloader indoors. My uncle Dick was admiring his son-in-law Chris' new muzzleloader and conveniently had it pointed much in Chris' direction. It should suffice to say that these two rarely see eye to eye, and I could not hesitate in taking a photo of such a moment. Don't worry, it was unloaded.


Retired2hunt's picture

  You are a very fortunate


You are a very fortunate person - with family to hunt with to generate these life-long memories... and the nice harvest you enjoyed!  These memories are priceless and whenever possible you need to relive them - either by telling the story like here or by making the time to spend with family again... and it helps if it is on another hunt. 

Ohio is great whitetail hunting - especially in the central and southern counties.  I too was born and raised there.  Dad and brothers still live there.  If I cannot be there on opening day then I am calling them about 8pm to hear their stories.

There is another set of quotes suitable here - "time is of the essence" and "time does not stand still".  Make time to be with family again as you won't regret it.  Thanks for sharing your story.




ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story. I too am an Ohio

Great story. I too am an Ohio native. Born and raised here. The limit here in our area is still six deer and the herd is as strong as ever.

groovy mike's picture

Hunts like these are special for a variety of reasons.

Congratulations on the successful season Ndemiter.  Hunts like these are special for a variety of reasons.  I know in my own family, my granddad and father in law are gone and my dad’s hunting days are done.  Even my uncle who I was never terribly close to only gets painfully into the woods for a few hours each year these days.  So treasure these memories and any future hunts that you have like them.  I have observed that you can never recapture the golden moments of days gone by, and I think a large part of true happiness is enjoying each day for what it has to offer knowing that THESE are the good times that you will look back on.  A hunting journal (heck any journal at all) is a good idea but I recommend only recording the happy memories.  Take lots of photographs, more than you think you will want. 

I have to agree with the sentiments about careful gun handling.  I won’t hunt with my only brother.  When we were kids he accidentally fired a rifle in our bedroom while he was actually in the act of telling me to never load a gun inside the house because it was dangerous.  Another time he was showing me his new shotgun and I distinctly heard a “click” while it was pointed in my direction.  His comment was “Good thing that was unloaded!”  We only live a few miles apart, but we do not even target shoot together let alone hunt together.  It just isn’t worth the risk.  You might want to take a similar approach with anyone in your family with similar habits!


hunter25's picture

Fortunately all my family

Fortunately all my family hunting has been with my dad and children. Even as a kid in Michigan and Wisconsin it was only my dad I hunted big game with. Or actually alone most of the time. But now growing up in Colorado and hunting with my dad and two kids I hope I never have to say or write about my last family hunt like you have. I know time will change things but I can't imagine hunting without these people that are closest to me.

I know from your posts that you have a young child yourself and have to tell you that the best years of your life are just getting started and you will soon be telling stories about your first family deer hunt. It just gets better with time. Good luck to the future and the new generation you are raising.

hunting with the family

Being out in the wilderness is even better when you have members of the family with you.Im thankfull that all three of my sons love hunting and fishing.

arrowflipper's picture


Thanks for a good story.  Sounded like you had a great time.  Those are hunts that you won't soon forget, and also hunts that you won't soon duplicate.  All times spent with friends are memorable, but success adds a whole new dimension.

I hope you have kept a journal of those hunts and times together.  Years ago I started a hand written journal of my hunts.  On long hunts, I write each night.  On shorter ones, I wait until I get home to complete my journal.  I also have a photo book that I keep pictures of each of my hunts.  There's nothing like going back several years later to read the story of a hunt and look at pictures.  I have since put a book together on a website and it has been bound with leather. 

The only part of your story that concerns me is the picture of the rifle being pointed at someone.  I know you said it was unloaded, but it's the "unloaded" gun that kills people.  Every gun should be considered loaded and treated as such. 

Thanks for your story and pictures.  Sounds like a great time was had by all.