(Pic taken after we tracked her took my orange vest off, my mistake)I can't take all of the credit for this pic., because Brandon the photographer was a huge part of me getting that first deer. But before the '09-'10 season I had hunted nothing but mushrooms.
Brandon was the first to ever take me out hunting. Although I only ran the video-camera, I was learning each and every day. After a few weeks I started to become comfortable in; all the hunting clothes, the tree stand, and the HCO camera arm (Brandon made, patent pending). I became addicted.
Even though I had no interest in hunting before this season, I still had taken the hunting safety course when I was 10. In Iowa it's like getting a license for your car; like those who don't have a car but still have a license, I don't even have a gun but still had a license and tag.
On New Years Eve Brandon and I decided to go hunting. We brought the video camera and tripod and sat on a hill near a fence row. Right when we sat down and got the camera ready does and button bucks came rushing in toward us. A couple brave ones came within feet of us. Brandon passed up deer after deer, and suddenly they quit crossing the fence. I couldn't even feel my butt, we basically made chairs out of snow.
But a cold January in Iowa means a low battery for Brandon and I. Another group of does came across the fence as if the us and the video camera were magnents. Some coming even closer to us than the ones before. I had the camera recording the close ones, and they came closer. I tried to turn off the camera but immediately Brandon whispered, "Don't Move".
At the sound of his whisper I was one with the ground: Frozen. I didn't move and it only seemed like seconds, but the camera eventually died and the sun began making it's way to set under the horizon.
In came another group of does and button bucks, and I see Brandon turn back to me and whisper,"You wanna shoot one?"
He gestured the muzzle loader towards me, and my first question was...
"Whichever one you think" He answered with a whisper that sounded slightly like Mr. Miagi from Karate Kid.
Was he crazy? I had never even shot a gun let alone aim one, I thought we would maybe practice before it came to this.
I nodded and grabbed the gun from him. He was surprised and almost seemed reluctant to give it to me, but I took it anyway.
As I raised the muzzle loader and set my sights in, I thought to the time Brandon forced me to look through his muzzle loader scope earlier this summer. I could remember (word to word) the advice he gave me as he basically forced my eye into the scope one day in the shop, "Aim the crosshairs in the sweet spot, and let her rip... It's not that hard.."
BAAMMM I actually pulled the trigger and it happened way too fast. I can remember it about as well as I can remember my 21st birthday party. I saw snow spray behind her, and I thought I missed the doe.
Once Brandon said I nailed her I came back to reality and saw her scamper off. I didn't think she'd make it up that second hill, but she did. I was pretty sure she didn't go any farther than that, and she didn't.
It still seems like a dream to me today, but after that second hill, I saw her lyin' there in peace, right next to the fence row.
I'm glad I didn't spine her, Brandon said I hit her right where I was supposed to. What a way to end the New Year!