Finally some action! Thank goodness Gannon wanted to participate in Vermont’s Youth Deer Hunt this past weekend. Otherwise, I would have just been sitting in New Hampshire with my muzzleloader staring at trees again.
Last year was Gannon’s first year of hunting, and I was able to properly introduce him to hunting in Vermont. We didn’t see a thing, we got cold, and we went home empty handed. Despite that fun introduction, Gannon wanted to give it another try this year.
I picked him up at 5:15 am and we left for the woods full of anticipation at what opening morning would bring. A quarter mile down the road I turned around and we went back to get his license. He ran inside and returned with his license in hand, and we again left for the woods full of anticipation at what opening morning would bring.
Daybreak found us perched on a knoll in a stand of mature hemlock and pine trees. We had views of about 100 yards below us as well as to our left and right. There was a big blowdown and a few birch trees with leaves still clinging on back to our right. This is important to note because in the video you’ll see bits and pieces of deer walking through that area before eventually working their way into full view.
All was quiet until 6:45 when I heard the faint but unmistakable sound of deer trotting through leaves. “Grab your gun and get ready!” I whispered to Gannon. Then all was quiet. I knew what I’d heard, but no deer showed. So, I grabbed my binoculars and started scanning the woods. Then I saw it – first an ear and then a nose. My heart started pounding at the thought of what might soon happen.
“Yup, I see one.” I told him. “It’s in the brush about 100 yards out.” From his angle, which was a few feet to my left, he did not have a view of the deer. After a couple of minutes I saw a second deer which joined up with the first. The video picks up with the camera “focused” on the second deer and audio of me trying to explain to Gannon where it was. Eventually, a third deer walks into my view and is a bit closer. When he finally had a shot at the deer he took full advantage and made a perfect shot.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not a great videographer and my main goal for the morning was to make sure Gannon could get a shot, so my role as a cameraman came second. Also, this is only the second video I have ever “edited” – the first being the giant deer tick explosion which I highly recommend watching if you hate deer ticks.
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After we reached the doe and finished celebrating I reminded Gannon of how blessed we are to be able to hunt and the importance of being thankful in ALL situations. It’s easy to be thankful when life is going well, but giving thanks during a difficult time in life is just as important even though it’s not easy. Some may say that pausing to pray in the midst of celebrating can take away from the moment, but I disagree. I think it adds to it. We bowed our heads in prayer and Gannon gave thanks for an awesome experience in the woods and then we got to work.
I offered to gut the deer for him but warned him that he’d be doing it the next time. I started cutting through the skin, pausing to explain the process as I went along. “You know, Gannon,” I said, “the reason you got this deer is because of this dull knife I carry around with me when I hunt. It’s a lucky charm of sorts. Someday you’ll understand. Now, if you don’t mind, could you hand me the sharp one in the front pocket of my backpack? Thanks.”
What a weekend that was! Now I have my sights set on the New Hampshire rifle opener this Wednesday and Vermont’s Rifle Opener this Saturday. The next few weeks are going to be incredible…I can feel it. 🙂
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