Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

My First Deer - Year 1973
On this particular day, my dad and I had sat in our tree with only the birds, rabbits and armadillos keeping our attention. As the last light faded, my Dad emptied his rifle and lowered it to the ground with a rope and began his maneuvering to get down from the tree when I exclaimed, "Deer!"

The look on my dadís face is still etched into my memory as a cross between excitement and grief as he uttered, "Buck or doe?"

I whispered back, "Buck."

His reply: "Are you sure?"

My reply: "Yes, sir."

As he scrambled to get back to his seat, pull his gun up and get it reloaded, I kept the first deer that I had ever seen through a scope in my cross hairs. Once my Dad was settled again (to a kid it seemed like it took forever), I began directing him to where the deer was so he could confirm if it was a shooter or not. Back then that meant if it really had horns or not. Once he FINALLY located the deer, he gave me the go ahead. The deer was crossing behind a clump of oaks and I was told that once it cleared the brush I should take it.

My heart was pounding, my eyes were coming in and out of focus and the world became silent at that moment. As the deer cleared the brush, I came to a stark and frightening realization that although I had been told to always shoot the deer behind the shoulder, I was never actually shown a picture of a deer or had seen a deer shot before. As I looked at this deer through my scope, I realized that there was a lot of area between the shoulder and the rear end.

So here I am looking at the first deer I had ever seen through a scope and I was moving the cross hairs back and forth, up a little and down a little while my dad set there waiting. After the deer was several feet from exiting the trees my dad whispered, "Shoot." I was still wondering how far back, how far up or down. Then in a louder whisper, "Shoot," Dad says.

I still was unsure of where to hold the cross hairs and I was sure my head was fixing to explode. Even though this event was only seconds long my Dad turned his head and loudly exclaimed, "SHOOT!"

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