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What was your first deer or elk hunt like

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I've been considering the question................ For a young persons first hunt should I try to provide a deer shooting experience where they can go out and shoot a deer first thing opening morning.

Or should I provide a hunting experience knowing that it may mean they don't get the chance to shoot a deer at all?

I had waited a long time for my first mule deer hunt when I could actually carry a gun. It was a gun borrowed from my grandfather. No scope, just open sights and first thing opening morning we saw a large group of deer with several bucks. With no scope I was pretty much out of luck and watched as the deer spooked and left the country. I don't remember even getting another chance at shooting a buck that year. I remember being frustrated at the situation, but the next summer I went to work and saved enough money to buy me a used 30-06 with a scope from a pawn shop.

Seems an awful lot has changed in the past 26 years.

Take the poll and tell us about your first hunt.
 

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I was able to start working at Lagoon at age 12 flipping burgers at burger express. I saved and saved and saved to go to the K-mart in Woodscross. Those adds would come to my house every sunday and I would eye those lever action 30-30's. Finally the day had come where I had scrimped enough money to walk up to the counter and pay with my $20's, $5's, and $10's for my new model 94.

When the opener of the deer hunt came around at first light I spotted some deer and as I was approaching them I heard a shot from the hillside above me. A 2pt was felled right in front of me and I got to watch it take its last breaths as the life evaporated from its eyes. My dad came by and picked me off and we were off to another spot. I was very familiar with this spot as it is a canyon that my father and I have hunted for years. As I approached the spot I noticed some white butts. Then I could see a head and antlers. A 2pt was watching me behind a cedar tree.

I pointed my 30-30 at the cedar tree where the bucks vitals were supposed to be and fired. I was pleasantly rewarded with the sound of rocks sliding down the hill. Unable to keep my cool I trotted over to where the buck lay with its head up laboring to get up. I placed another shot in its chest and he succumbed to my lever action rifle.

Getting on the radio and informing my dad that my hunt was over at age 13 was one of my happiest moments. In 25 years of hunting with my dad I think I have only seen him harvest around 5 bucks... All 2 points or yearlings. I have now collected the heads of close to 20 bucks and taken my passion to another level. This year I will be hunting at his side as an assistant like good ole times since I was unable to draw my preferred tag.

Those days are over and getting a tag is growing harder and harder now...
 

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I looked at your poll options, but I didn't see anything that I really felt described my first hunt. On my first ever deer hunt with a tag in my pocket I had the idea that I was going to hold out for at least a small 4 point or larger 3 point early in the hunt and then I would shoot whatever buck I saw toward the end if I hadn't tagged out yet.

The night before opening day I remember it snowed close to 10 inches in town, but surprisingly, only a couple of inches in the mountain. Opening morning we didn't see much. It seems like I passed on a yearling 2 by spike. Later in the middle of the afternoon while out on a walk we had a few medium sized bucks run past my brother and me from probably about 275 yards. My first shot missed and on my second shot my dad's hand loaded .30-06 165 grain Sierra game kings downed a nice 20" wide little 3x4. I remember my little brother shouting, "you got him!" He said he dropped and his snout skidded through the snow for a little ways before he came to a stop. To this day that is probably the furthest I have ever killed an animal. The buck I shot the very next year was at a similar distance and then I don't think I have ever shot anything in excess of 200 yards since then. The majority of everything I have shot has been under 100 yards. I killed my spike elk this year in nearly the same spot with that same .30-06.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I think I've posted three polls now and apparently I'm to dumb to figure it out. Obviously three of the poll options shouldn't be the same. Is there any way to edit that or are we all just stuck with my stupidity?
 

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I was 15. It was 1990. There were no men living who hunted in my family. I checked out a book on field dressing game and went over it with my mom the night before the hunt. I walked from the house to the creek where I had seen Blacktails while fishing. I had my great grandpas Marlin M336 30-30. The first deer I saw was a forkie. I pulled up and shot without aiming. I hit the deer in the neck and killed it instantly.

I have hunted and killed deer every year since then. I like to hunt deer in all kinds of places and am more about the adventure than the trophy. I have hunted and killed with traditional archery, modern archery, muzzleloader, shotgun, and rifle. If God let's me live long enough. I will probably kill over 100 deer in my lifetime. Deer hunting is my passion and I think about it every day.

Here are the mementos from that day.-------SS
 

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I don't know how to answer the poll. I shot a big 4 point buck on the second weekend my first year carrying a rifle (1989). I was not necessarily passing on bucks. I just happened into a nice deer. We had seen three 4 points move into an area. My dad and two uncles made me stay behind while they made a sneak on the bucks. I was sitting there on a rock where they told me to stay and the deer came running right back my way. The buck I shot was in a full run but he filed past me at 25 yards. I put the iron sights of Grandpa's 30-30 on his chest and pulled the trigger. The buck flipped right on his back! I had put a round into his heart.
 

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I think I've posted three polls now and apparently I'm to dumb to figure it out. Obviously three of the poll options shouldn't be the same. Is there any way to edit that or are we all just stuck with my stupidity?
I fixed it:mrgreen:
 

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I was never taken hunting by my dad, he talked about hunting squirrels as a kid on the farm in Minnesota, but we grew up in So. CA. So we did the best we could, reading outdoor life and learning as we went. When I got old enough to drive I went a few times in So. CA, never really saw any bucks, but then one year I went to Monticello UT with my brother, I had driven through a few years before on a road trip, I happened to drive through on Monday morning after opening weekend in 1982, heavy snow and dead deer everywhere! even saw a couple hanging out of the trunk of a Cadillac! Once we decided to go out of state I knew where I wanted to try! I happened to get a 3 x 2, didn't really know how to gut it properly. Been hunting ever since and have killed around 35 deer, 4 elk, 3 antelope and raised my family on wild game, about half of it by archery. Not too bad for a guy from So CA! It is my favorite thing to do, and about the only thing I do I have a great bunch of memories, and have raised my son hunting.
 

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The earliest deer hunting experience I remember is 1987. I was 6 years old. My older brother was 16, hunting his first year. He had just shot a 3x4 and my dad dropped us off to go clean it while he took a friend up the road to a different spot. We got the deer cleaned out and we're waiting for my dad. I wasn't really prepared and started to get cold. My brother told me if I crawled in the cavity of the deer I'd stay warm. So I did. It was warm. I was hooked!

I know my dad took me at a younger age than that because there are pictures of the trips. But this was the first I can really remember. We hunted private land up Chalk Creek and fully expected to fill each of the tags tags every year. United Sportsmen came in and convinced the lady that owned the land they were a good idea when I was 12, so by the time I turned 14 I actually never hunted with a tag there. I didn't actually kill a deer until I was 17.
 

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My first deer hunting trip that I can remember was when I was 3 years old. I had fun but I think other hunters weren't too happy since I made too much noise. My first trip where I could actually hunt was when I was 14. In Utah back then you had to wait till you were 16 to hunt so a friend took us into Wyoming where you could hunt at 14. On the first days of our hunt I missed a nice 4 point and every other deer they found for me over the next few days. My dad was behind me telling me what to do and how to shoot and later every one else joined in telling me what I was doing wrong. I was so nervous that I missed every time. Finally they got so frustrated they sent me out with my brother and said shoot like you do when you go rabbit hunting. So my brother and I left all the older hunters and went down a draw. A fork horn jumped out in front of us at about 75 yards and I got it on the first shot right through the head on the run. If I had just had fun like we did rabbit hunting I would have probably gotten the nice 4 point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for fixing the poll Dunkem, I had intended for there to be a choice about being all set up by someone to wait for daylight and pull the trigger. Seems there is a lot of that these days so I wondered if there were many that started that way.

There's some interesting responses. I think it's fun to hear about those early days of hunting. I'm sure we could all probably go on and on about hunting happenings of our youth.

The mention of deer across the trunk of a car, that brings back some memories. I remember the days that if it snowed on the deer hunt opener it would keep the vast majority of vehicles out of the hills because they were cars or other two wheel drive rides.

I also remember opening morning sounding like WW3 because their was so much shooting going on. It doesn't seem to be that way as much anymore. Maybe because I work hard to stay out of that type of area on opening morning.

Good luck to everyone and drive safe I-15 is a jungle. It sure would suck to start your hunt off with a wrecked truck and trailer.
 

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The earliest deer hunting experience I remember is 1987. I was 6 years old. My older brother was 16, hunting his first year. He had just shot a 3x4 and my dad dropped us off to go clean it while he took a friend up the road to a different spot. We got the deer cleaned out and we're waiting for my dad. I wasn't really prepared and started to get cold. My brother told me if I crawled in the cavity of the deer I'd stay warm. So I did. It was warm. I was hooked!

I know my dad took me at a younger age than that because there are pictures of the trips. But this was the first I can really remember. We hunted private land up Chalk Creek and fully expected to fill each of the tags tags every year. United Sportsmen came in and convinced the lady that owned the land they were a good idea when I was 12, so by the time I turned 14 I actually never hunted with a tag there. I didn't actually kill a deer until I was 17.
It's funny you should mention the United Sportsmen. The landowners that border us used to have a handful of them come down and hunt for a couple years back in the 90s. While my dad was out hunting on our place one time he was approached by one who was obviously a little confused about the property boundaries and he informed by dad that he was "trespassing" and that he needed to leave. My dad, who is much too nice for his own good, set the fella straight in the most polite way possible. I don't know how my brother and I would handle a situation like that. If I remember correctly, one of them killed a decent 4 point on the wrong side of the fence that year as well. They only killed one real big buck during their short time hunting that property that rode home on a 4 wheeler trailer without being tied down. They took a turn a little too fast coming down the mountain and the big boy went off and his horns got smashed up pretty bad on the paved road. They gave up hunting that property pretty quickly. I don't know why because it is a phenomenal piece of ground with some incredible deer on it. I don't think any of them were savvy enough to figure out how to hunt it or find out where the big ones hung out. Oh, well. We weren't sad to see them leave.
 

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it was in 1966 and I can remember it like yesterday, dad had given up hunting with his health being bad but I had a number of mentors my older brother an uncle and a bunch of there friends all seemed to want the kid kill his first buck. after the prehunt poker game we all hit the mountain with not a few of the guys sporting roarin hangovers, I was in tow by my big brother and we went on a predawn hike that had me wondering about his sanity we started walking at 3:30 to get to the upper pass that was his favorate spot and warned me don't shoot the first buck ya see. at first light a nice two point crossed over and believe me I pouted severely because big brother said no. it wasn't but a few minutes later when a string of deer started to move out of the quakies below me and you guessed it there were at least three bucks in the bunch. brow told me to sit down calm down and shoot the biggest well after a bunch of shots and a reload I had my first buck and to this day he looks down on me from the wall in my front room a 30 inch 4 by 4 which reminds me every day of the hunt the family though all the group have know passed but myself and one snowy day in oct so long ago
 

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My first deer hunt happend because I made a crossbow in school. I wanted to hunt with it and couldnt. So I took money I had saved as a kid from my paper routs, raking leaves, shoveling snow and went to jakes high country archery and bought a pse bow. A friend of mine was a few years older then I was and he drove. We road hunted every day after school. I missed a ton of deer and several good 4 point bucks. On the last day I finally got a two point buck with my bow. I've been hooked ever since. The year was 1990.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fun story swbuck, do you ever find yourself riding in the canyon with your kids and saying....... "really, we used to see deer through here all the time"

We road hunted archery deer all over the place when I was a kid 1988 - 1991. And we saw a lot of decent bucks from the roads in those days.
 

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My first hunting experience was when I was probably 7 or 8. I remember hunting that day with my dad, uncle, and grandfather (my little brother and younger cousin were also there... both 5 or 6 at the time). Sitting with my dad and little brother in a little clump of trees we had a little 2pt bound past us. I remember being so disgusted with my dad when he didn't shoot it, but he just looked at me and smiled... then the mountain behind us erupted in a hail of gunfire. My grandfather and uncle sitting just up the hill from us ended up shooting that little 2pt and his little buddy mere seconds later.

Fast forward to when I'm finally able to have a tag in my own pocket (1994 or '95). I honestly had no idea what to expect and throughout my teenage years bought a tag occasionally but never killed anything. I still have the box of Remington "High Velocity" 7mm-08 rounds... 17 left.

Fast forward another good handful of years to 2009... I see my grandfather beginning to age and I think back to those first experiences in the field. Gramps continued to hunt every year while the rest of the family filled our lives with other activities (I personally filled my life with my young family, school, and fly fishing). I decided that getting back into hunting would be a great way to spend time with Gramps and make some memories with him. I rallied the troops and my brother, my dad, and my uncle all joined grandpa for the 2009 muzzleloader deer hunt and we have hunted together every year since 2009. I filled my tag for the first time that year with Gramps right next to me... well technically he was still sitting behind the wheel of the Saturn Vue after I had jumped out.

Every hunt feels like that first one... I don't really know what to expect but man do I get excited.
 
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