in light of everything, i was reading through my drafts and found this that i, for some bizarre reason, had never posted.
i have been looking forward to thanksgiving break for a while now. i was ready for a break from school, catching up on sleep, relaxing and reading some Chronicles of Narnia, hanging with my family.... and going huntin' with Tanner and my Daddy-O.
i had told literally everyone i knew that i was getting to hang out with some of my favorite boys and finally live out the phrase, "if its brown, its down" and i. was. pumped.
so we set out on the 11 hour drive and had some *quality* bonding time. i learned important lessons like... never sit down-wind of a skinny man (a.k.a. tanner.) anyways... head up to illinois to the cabin and some beautiful land up there.
after getting all our clothes all laid out, my dad set his alarm for 4:30 am and we all headed for bed. i may or may not have prayed for a fun filled day full of dead deer....
4:30am rolls around and i felt like it was christmas when dad came in to wake us up! we got dressed,ate some breakfast, and headed for then stands. T got all set up in his own stand and then dad came back and we went to another one so that he could coach me through what to do... we wait.... and wait some more....
we got to see a buck chase a doe, i learned the difference in a squirle and a fox squirle.. i really was enjoying just being outside with my dad. then, sure enough... dad got my attention and pointed out a set of horns headed our way!
now, a little side note as to what is going through my head:
1. WHAT THE HECK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!?!?
2. how do i make my hands stop shaking?
3. i BETTER not miss. this is EPIC.
and that was all running through my head in a split second. then it hit me...
its kill time.
so i keep trying to get the dad-gum deer in my scope and half the time i cant find it because i cant get my head leveled right.. and when i finally do, half his body is hidden behind a tree. to make a long story short... or really ive made a short story long... i never get a shot on the deer and it disappears.
only to be shot by a freaking yankee.
it was a 150pt deer... 11 pointer.
but our dismay, or i should say, my dads dismay was short lived because as soon as we got out of the stand T called to tell us he got him self a deer. and oh. my. gosh. it was MASSIVE.
11 point, 300 lbs... he was a beaut.
after we took lots of pictures with T's deer, we headed back to the house to regroup and eat some food. we headed back out that afternoon... and i was ready to prove my coolness and kill me a deer.
we put T up in another tree stand with the cross-bow and dad and i headed to a different stand.. we sit... it starts sleeting... we sit some more... then, dad and his 6th sense - tuuurnnnnn around.... and there, on a sweet little date is a beautiful 8 point buck and a doe.
now. when dad tells me to turn around, i only see the buck. i have NO CLUE the doe is there. so i find the buck in my scope, wait for him to turn broad side, then dad tells me "kill him! shoot him abby! kill him!" so... i pull the trigger and BOOM! i see legs kicking and a deer on the ground!
so i start telling my dad I GOT HIM! I GOT HIM! and my dads telling me i didnt and that the buck is still standing there. so i, very confusingly, look for a buck through the scope again and sure enough, hes still standing there.
im still trying to figure out what i killed while trying to not mess up finally killing a buck.
so dad and i climb down the tree stand and set out on foot... this is when, i SWEAR i stepped into a movie.
dad and i are on foot now, and i have a gun - loaded - in my hands. we head away from the tree stand following the buck. we see it, dad orders me to pull my gun up and shoot him. i try. i MIGHT have hit his foot. he kicks up and runs off... dad and i follow still.
we cross over a creek, down a little slope, then up a hill.... then, there he is. standing in the woods with his backside facing us. my heart is racing.
dad tells me to get the gun, steady my breathing, and when i am ready, pull the trigger.
now, im a little confused at this point. i knew some people aim for the hole and drop them, but let's be real, im no where near that accurate. so i was trying to figure out what he wanted me to shoot.... his butt?
so i pull the trigger without really aiming. dad grabs the gun and shoots twice too but the Buck keeps running.
finally we see him standing still, broad side, and i shoot. he runs off.
dad takes off and then disapears after jumping down a little ledge.... as i run after, its not long before i see dad standing there, grinning ear to ear, hands raised up, and a dead deer.
there her was! my first buck!
dad proudly took pictures of us with our [massive] deer
then i got to partake in a tradition that i had secretly been wanting to for my entire life...
annnnd i think dad had a lot of fun with it too!
this is a weekend that i will hold on to for forever. i made so many memories that i will always treasure... seeing my dad in his prime, and T for that matter, was such an experience. waking up with the woods is such a calming feeling. i now understand why they travel all the way to IL to hunt deer. its because its not JUST about the deer. its about the camaraderie. the memories. the stillness, the retreat of it all. its about the hunt, the time, the attention... the reward is a beautiful deer, but it is about so much more than just killing a big animal [though that makes it MUCH more fun :)]
two thumbs up for a fantastic trip and the hope of many more to come!! watch out deer, i've got that itch now!