Have you ever been hunting? If you haven’t, it might be something you want to consider. This is how my first hunt went.
There are various benefits and down sides to hunting, and in the end you will have to decide for yourself if it’s something that interests you. Even so, by the time you’re done reading this, I will have hopefully convinced you to at least consider hunting, or maybe to recommend it to a friend.
First and foremost, I started checking my local hunting laws and regulations and found out where, when, and how often I could hunt. Most of this information can be found online. Depending on where you live, and where you plan on hunting, you might need to get a hunting license. This part can be a little expensive, and usually requires a lot of time and study. If, on the other hand, your state doesn’t require you to have a hunting license, you can hunt without one. This is the case here, I didn’t need to have a hunting license since I am only hunting on our property. After getting all the “legals” out of the way, you can get onto the less expensive and time consuming part of preparing for a hunt.
I had everything ready the night before me and my dad went hunting. I had already sighted my gun and ate a big meal the night before we went. I woke up right before the sun came up. I made sure to wear something appropriate for the current weather, and kept in mind that it’s usually cooler in the morning than at midday. I wore lots of orange to keep from being shot by other hunters.
Sometimes, pets will cause problems when trying to hunt, because they want to follow you out. This was the case with me, my dog, Molly Grace likes to follow me wherever I go, so we had to sneak past her very carefully. My younger brother and dad went hunting later in the day and Molly actually tracked them to their hunting spot! We now put Molly in the house when we go out hunting!
Once I completed all of the above things, then came the actual hunt. This part is where we carefully crept out into our hunting spot. If you have a problem with waiting, then instead of hiding and waiting, you can move around. But be warned, this will probably scare off most of what you’re hunting, but if you’re quick you could get it before it runs away. If, on the other hand you want to wait in one place, you have a better chance of shooting something, in my opinion. I chose this approach, and we sat and waited out on top of a steep hill for several hours and saw many deer and coyote before one actually came into shooting range.
As you can imagine, since I had been up since 5:00 and it was now 7:30, I was feeling a bit tired. So I turned my head the other way to… “rest my eyes”, when I heard the crunching of leaves. Before I even turned around I knew what it was: a deer, finally within shooting range. I slowly turned around, cocked the lever action rifle I was using, and aimed.
I was so focused on the hunt that I hardly noticed the bang. I quickly lowered the barrel of my rifle to see if I had scored a hit, but there he stood. By the expression on his face you would have thought he had only heard a twig break or something. That clown walked a good five steps, turned around, and then acted like nothing even happened, all along walking closer and closer into our trap. I was so caught up in the moment that the thought never crossed my mind that maybe I should reload and try again. Come to think of it, it didn’t occur to me until days later.
A few seconds later, I heard another shot, and watched the deer suddenly jump and thrash around, then silence. I knew what had happened. My dad had taken his shot, and it couldn’t have been a better one I might add. It took me a few minutes to recover from the action, but once I had my focus back, we went down to check it out. Now keep in mind, we are up on a hill, shooting down into a bowl. There was a ditch, in which there was stream running through it. When my dad had taken his shot, the deer (a 7 point buck) had been kind enough to jump right into that ditch as his last act.
If only you could have watched us, hauling a buck that weighed a ton out of a ditch, then up the steepest hill that we could have found. It was tiresome, to say the least. When we finally made it to the top, I was glad it was all over, and I took pride that a had helped get the first buck of the year. Something was missing, I had shot at the buck, and had missed. So how in my right mind could I take credit for the prize? It’s an adventure that I’m still undertaking to this day, to hunt and bag a deer, all on my own, but it’s one I plan on succeeding in soon. So shooting and missing was just part of my training!
Next came the aspect of the hunt which I would much rather not talk about, nor even think about for that matter. Field dressing is taking out all the guts of an animal that has been killed, and draining all the blood. A whole lot of people can’t stand this process, and I just happen to be one of them. Let me give ya’ a piece of advice: leave this job to the pros if you happen to have one with you. At least until your stomach can get used to this part.
I hope if you never had any interest in hunting, that this has helped you view it through a new set of eyes, those of a 13 year old. If you want to know more about hunting, here is a great guide to study.
I’m looking forward to Mom’s Venison Roast! Be sure to check out her recipe, it is GREAT! And tonight we had Grilled Turkey Bacon wrapped Deer Tenderloin… I’ve got to get more venison! That was fantastic! I’m sure Blake will be writing about that recipe soon. Be watching for it, it’s that good!
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