“OK, Greg, nice and easy now. Get the gun on her, right in the pocket. Remember, when you shoot, squeeze the trigger, don’t pull it,” Dad said calmly.

“OK,” was all I could get out with my heart pounding and my body shaking. “

Good. Now just wait a minute. Wait until she gets comfortable and stops. That’s when you shoot,” Dad counseled.

“Don’t worry. I got her in my sights. She’s not going anywhere,” I said, hands shaking. My finger started tightening on the trigger, waiting to feel the shock and surprise of the bullet exploding out of the gun, hopefully heading towards my first deer.

Before my finger could completely pull the trigger, the deer scattered. All of them, gone in an instant. I pulled the gun down after a minute or so, disappointed. I couldn’t understand what happened. What did we do wrong? Dad knew what happened. When he pointed it out to me, I understood. A buck had been at the edge of the woods and decided to move out into the field at the same time I was going to take my shot. Unfortunately, it was only a spike. My dad was just as disappointed as I was, not for him, but for me. We were just hoping that the deer would come back — and they did.

Our luck had changed. All of the deer had come back, except for the spike. I pulled up my gun and did just what my dad said. I put my sights on the biggest one. There were two fawns and two does. They started walking towards our stand, zigzagging back and forth across the field. My gun was trained on my doe the whole time, zigzagging with her. The shot that would have originally been 120 yards was now getting shorter and shorter. The deer were almost upon us. The big doe finally stopped where she was, turning broadside.

“Greg, when …” Dad was cut off by the sound of a loud gunshot. The second the doe had stopped I had squeezed the trigger, not even thinking about it. It was just instinct. She spun halfway around and dropped to the ground. The other three deer were already gone by the time Dad started talking again.

“Greg, that was an amazing shot! You did it! Congratulations son, you got your first deer,” my dad excitedly whispered to me.
“Thanks, Dad. I couldn’t have done it without you,” I whispered back. As we climbed down out of the tree stand to see my first deer, I was shaking with excitement. Looking at that deer, knowing that it was mine, and that I earned it, was so memorable. It was a feeling that I knew I wouldn’t forget, and one that I hoped to feel again in the future. I couldn’t have asked for a more exciting, eventful and successful first hunt. What truly made it special was that my dad was right there beside me the whole time.