While growing up in central MN, deer hunting has been a family affair that has had so many great memories. My parents both hunt, along with my three brothers. My older brother has a couple more years of hunting under his belt, not to say he has had more success though (uh oh…I’m kidding bro). So when my brother got to go deer hunting before I did, as with other experiences that he got to do first, I was pumped to get my butt out there and maybe show him up a tinge.
When I was 13-14, the time had come to map out a spot for my stand. I was as excited as a little school girl with a new dress and pair of shoes to get out into the woods. We stand hunt and rely on some other people in the woods to stir things up for us, we hunt on public land. The location for my stand was chosen with my parents and older brothers recommendation. The area has alot of rolling knolls, so the spot was at the mid point of one and on the edge. To my left was a huge gully/dip between knolls. To my right was flatter ground. Behind me the knoll continued to rise.
My first deer opener had arrived, state holiday practically in MN along with the walleye opener, and I was ready. Sitting in my stand that first time on my own was a cool thing. The sounds, the silence, the wind and cold was a neat experience, but all the time my ears were at peak tuning for any sound. Time went by and I was just itching to see a deer. Behind me I could hear a very distant cracking/rustling, I sat still and listened, the noise got closer along with a almost like panting sound. I stood up and turned to my right, with the rise of the knoll to my right.
The sound was getting closer and closer and I was looking so hard to my right, up towards to the rise of the knoll, for something to show up. Then it did….a doe…came barreling down the knoll headed right for me! I had my rifle (30-06) down towards my right hip with both hands on it watching this deer cruising right to me, head down not seeing me at all. I FROZE, the doe stopped about 10 yards away from me for a second, broadside, and looked at me as to say “what the heck are you doing there”. I was still FROZEN, never raised my gun. The doe then split, a couple leaps and out of sight.
My heart was racing, I was almost shaking because of the excitement and disappointment of not taking a shot. I raced down from stand and thought I could catch up to the deer. After a period of time trying to catch up to the deer and getting very hot, reality set in…she was gone.
20 years later I have had success hunting deer, meaning that I actually shot my gun at a deer and hit it. That first experience I think about every deer opener and as time has gone on….I chuckle about it!