This past deer season, I somehow harvested my very first deer. Deer season if a very short allotted time given to hunters, with all correct tags etc, to harvest their deer. This includes a lot of time scouting, hiking, walking, thinking, waking up early, sitting.... Scanning hill sides for hours looking through binoculars can be very difficult and really takes a certain person to be able to do this day in and day out. I went out hunting many many times this season and returned with nothing but a little more knowledge. Too small of deer, too young of deer, only seeing female doe, and sometimes not seeing anything for days. For those of you who don't know, the only deer we can harvest here in zone D-15 are male deer.
It was a cold cold morning when me and my pa decide to have a father son go out. Out the door by 5:30am. It has been raining the past few days and forecast calls for rains today as well. We decide to take off anyways on our search for the prize buck. We come to a clearing in the brush and I spot antlers. I tell my dad to charge around the other side of the peak and I will try to ambush him and somewhat push him towards my dad. Sure enough all I hear is... BOOOOM BOOOOOMMMMM BOOOOOOMMMMMM. I was soooo excited and so pumped my Dad just scored his first deer of the year. I book it to where my pa is and find him bummed by the fact the deer had gotten away. He said the deer was charging full speed and tried to get him on the run. These animals are not slow what so ever and are a very spooked animal in general. We keep on trekking and walking and walking. It's probably out 10th time out this season with no luck so doubt it starting to fill my head. Up ahead is a lookout where you can scan many hill sides and be out of sight from any game. I decided to leave my gear at the bottom and my dad hikes up. "KAMY KAMY!!!" He looks at me with eyes the size of baseballs and does the military finger movement trying to explain that there are deer right there. The deer were quite far away but my dad goes for the shot. I run... (more like sprint) back to my rifle and gear to only see my dad reloading his gun. "THEY TOOK OFF KAMY!!!" UGHHHhh "im charging..." is all I told my father. I take off in the bushes. Swallowed by the head high brush and engulfed in the muddy earth, I "rambo" is down and down and down this ravine after these deer. Getting sliced up and slapped in the face from branches, spider webs in my face, tripping on rocks, I felt as if I was in vietnam. Bloody, wet, and tired I come to a head opening and all I see is a HUGE set of antlers. No body... just antlers. "I can't take the shot." I need the animal to be in sight more before I take a shot. Just remember this is my very first time deer hunting and I am all alone in the middle of the Cleveland national forest, scared shitless........
I almost give up. I have been running and army crawling down and through this crazy forest infested with ticks and rattlesnakes and and and and ! hahahaha I have one last chance to locate and shoot this buck before they reach the bottom and book it outa there! " CRUNCH!!!!" "CRUNCHhhhh; crunch!" I look to my left and right there.... on the hill side is MASSSSIVE antlered animal calmly walking as if he was alone... Little did he know... I was 150 yards away shitting my pants scared out of my mind trying to figure a game plan for this! I tell myself, "ok ok .. Kameron...... calm down.. you got this." I raise my rifle to my shoulder and put the deer in the cross-hairs of the scope... I see him.. right there.. in my scope. My heart is pounding so hard and my breaths were so intense I can't even keep the gun still..... UGH!!! I lower my gun and really re-think this. I am all alone...... where's my dad??... what the heck?? At this point i'm really talking to myself. Do I wait for my dad? Do I rest my gun on a branch or kneel down or move or get closer or.. or ... or? I couldn't seem to gather my thoughts until it hit me..... one more time I tell myself.... "Kameron... you can do this." I took a deep breath and calmly raised my gun to my shoulder once more. Located the deer in my cross hair... BOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!! Even before I had the chance to tell myself to pull the trigger, I had already shot. This massive animal hit the ground so hard.... rolled a couple times down the hill and just stopped. WAAAAAAAAHHHH HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! YIPPPEPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE HOLYY SHITTT!!! OH MY GODDDD!! I was freaking out.... FREAKING OUT! I JUST GOT MY FIRST DEER!!!! It was a perfect kill shot. Pefect lung shot that exited out through his spine. Didn't even take a step... Hit the deck like a sack of rocks!
Somehow, all morning, it hadn't rained...... from the time we started hunting to the moment I shot my deer. I can't find my Dad anywhere so I try to locate and drag out this deer alone..... Of course... it starts down pouring... RAINING CATS AND DOGS!!! The rain almost hurt. The hill in which the deer is on is straight up! I am no deer and can not climb this thing... I need to really take a close look at where this deer is, remember it, and get the fu*k outa there!!! Long story short...... I get to the truck and change clothing while still freaking out cuz my dad is no where to be found... I've been screaming in excitement because of my deer and no dad? Im in the truck soaking wet now starting to worry.. maybe my dad fell and hurt himself.. or the rain made him get lost or ? I don't know. I get changed into warm dry camo and just wait....
I see Mr. Cliff Brown emerging from the bush soaked from head to toe and looked like he was in the muddiest swamps for the past week..... I tell him the story :) so many excites!! We pull out heads together and come up with a game plan to re-locate this deer from another route... We hiked and hiked around the hill to where I think the animal is..... "Dad, I swear it was like right here?.... I swear." " Kameron.... are you sure you got it? Are you sure you hit and killed the deer.?" I take 5 more stepsss andddd WAAAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO THERE ITT IS!
Here are a few photos from my first harvest. Probably the
quartering the animal to send it off to the butcher (: mmmmm
behind me is the ravine I took off down into! and in my hands
is my very first buck ; 3x3 and around 200lbs
the "backstraps" as they call it, is the best, most delicious part of the animal
what felt like 100 lbs.
"the gut pile"
when you harvest a deer, you must gut and field dress
the animal to keep contamination at a minimum!
I had to cut his legs off and throw them around
my shoulders so it'd be easier to carry out....
This was by far one of the most intense, extreme, big game animal hunts I have ever been on. Until next time :)