My Second Year Big Game Hunting

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This story starts up with my second year of big game hunting where the first one left off.  After my success with the button buck in my first year I couldn't wait for the next season to begin. I practiced hard all summer to boost my accuracy with my bow on an old stack of hay bales all the way out to 30 yards. This time I was able to walk to my tree stand from my dad's work in about 15 minutes, so it was much easier to hunt frequently. The spot was not as good but there were definately a few deer using the trail I sat up on. After the first week of waiting with no deer I was finally rewarded with a nice spike buck sneaking through the woods. But as before I got over excited and spooked the little guy away into the brush and foolishly tried to sneak an arrow through the branches. A very wide miss resulted.

Although frustrated by what I thought might be my only chance for the year I was faithfully out there again as often as possible for the next couple of weeks after school. Finally my patience paid off when a nice fat doe came cluelessly walking in just before dark and offered me a perfect 20 yard shot. One hour later with an easy tracking job with flashlights the prize was mine and another great story to tell at school in the morning. At this time nobody I knew had even taken their first deer yet, so I was pretty popular with the other guys.

A month later found me sitting in another spot with my grandpa's old .30wcf when my dad finally agreed to let me rifle hunt also for the first time. I think he was starting to realize that the hunting bug was stronger in me than in most of our other family members. Luck was with me and only 30 minutes into my opening day hunt another doe walked out into the corn field edge I was watching. With the rifle I was much better and placed 2 quick shots through her chest at 50 yards before she had time to fall from the first one. I didn't get a picture of this deer but the memory is still very clear and sharp in my mind to this day.

My last big game opportunity for the year was when I once again somehow talked my dad into letting me take my new to me but used 30-06 on  a family vacation and stopped at the Tioga hunting preserve in Pennsylvania. At that time and age I didn't realize what a preserve was but I'm still very happy my dad supported me and let me do the "hunt" as it was a big confidence booster for me. After 2 hours out walking around I made a perfect shot on a ram at 50 yards and brought to an end what was for me the best hunting year of my life.

I think I was starting to realize already that I had found the one passion that would drive me for the rest of my life.


groovy mike's picture

Not everyone starts with such success!

Hunter25, thanks for sharing this story of your second year of big game hunting.  Not everyone starts with such success!  I think I hunted four years without taking game!  

But sticking on the stand for a full week of waiting with no deer finally paid off. The reason that nobody you knew had even taken their first deer yet, was probably because they hadn’t stuck with it the way that you had! 

That hunting bug had bit you bad!  For those of us badly bitten, it’s a lifetime infection.  ‘Passion’ is the right word!  Congratulations on a great season and thanks for sharing the fine memories. It's those first great successes that hook us and you are right, those memories stay sharp and vivid no matter how many times we tell the stories of taking the first few trophies. Take lots of pictures any time you can to help the memories get shared but it’s the excitement that keeps us coming back year after year for more J

My work takes me to the Tioga area a couple of months per year so I know it’s good deer country!  Boy thaty got hammered with the flooding this year though.

Retired2hunt's picture

  Wow! That was a huge


Wow! That was a huge success for being only the second year into your passion of hunting. I would call that a triple header! Nice ram too!

I too unfortunately do not have pictures (or good pictures) of some of my successful hunts... but like you said the memories stay with you. Thanks for sharing the story.


GooseHunter Jr's picture

Great story and great how

Great story and great how things just come together and we find the one thing that makes going to work everyday worth it.  My first few years of big game hunitngn were real exciting...I nver killed anything but I had some close encounters that it was enough to get me hooked for life.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Another great story!  Way to

Another great story!  Way to follow up the first year with a successful second year!

My frist 2 were very similar.  I shot my first deer on Thanksgiving morning one year.  I waited the entire year to get out there again the following season. Opening day arrived and I hit the woods.  Well, my hunt lasted 22 minutes, when I shot my second deer.  Didn't have time to even settle in... lol

Never heard of that hunting preserve.  Is it still in operation?  I have family in Western PA.

ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story, I really liked

Great story, I really liked it. It's great to hear the stories of youth taking their first few trophies. To them it doesn't matter what they shoot, it is something they are very proud of. It's too bad alot of us lose that excitement the youth get. I know I haven't lost it and I am almost 45 years old. Thanks for sharing the story and congratulations on all your trophies.

SGM's picture

Nice story, glad to hear you

Nice story, glad to hear you did not try and cut off any fingers the second year. I did not get any photos of my first few animals and somewhat regretted not getting them. However, when my son started to hunt I made sure I had a camera so he could have the memories.