A Thanksgiving to Remember!

Tim and Steph

New Hampshire 8 point buckBy Aaron Benware.

To say I was a proud papa would be an understatement. I had dreamed about this day for a long time. Nicole started going out hunting with me when she was about 10 years old. We started with youth waterfowl season and progressed into youth deer season. After a couple years, she decided she didn’t want to hunt deer anymore. When I asked her why, she said “You know Dad, I have a hard time being quiet.” Fair enough. Then when she turned 16 years old, she decided on her own to get her hunter safety. I was really stoked.

We hunted deer her first year holding a license, and she actually saw her first deer in the woods. It was carrying the mail when it went by, but she was hooked. Last year was her second year having to buy a license and she actually saw a deer from the tree stand with her bow, opening night of the bow season. It was too far for a shot, but she told me all about it when I got to her stand. She hunted sporadically with the bow, muzzleloader and rifle due to work obligation. Then, on Thanksgiving morning, the stars would align. The following is a story she submitted in her English class. When I read it the first time I thought, this really made an impact on her. Anyone with a teenage daughter knows what I am talking about. Please read on:

Imagining my 2015 Thanksgiving will be a memory I will never forget. It brings the sensory detail to mind. Dad and I walked up the old logging road to our tree stand. The cold air hitting my face, even with it being warm for hunting season. I had my lightest coat on over my shirt, and dad carried my heavier one. the road was steep, but we have walked it many times. I held my rifle close, it was locked and loaded. A few squirrels chased each other up a tree.

Once to the stand, Dad tied off his bow. I could only shoot a buck if one came in. If a doe came in, it was dads shot. I climbed in first, and dad unloaded my rifle. He handed me my rifle and he started up the ladder. I yawned as I put my gloves on. I could taste the cool fall air. Dad got settled and got his bow hung up while loaded my rifle again. It was late morning and all I heard was the rustle of squirrels and chipmunks bouncing around. I felt myself doze off multiple times. I fought my eyelids and tried to watch the land.

colideer2At my dozing moment, I felt dad nudge me and he whispered “Deer!..deer!” I didn’t believe him, my mind thought he was trying to wake me up from my doze. I could hear the crunching of walking, and I could tell it was too big to be a squirrel or chipmunk. He whispered again “It’s coming over the ridge, get your gun up! Get your gun ready!” I looked to the general area of where he was pointing and saw the body of a deer. I fumbled quietly, trying to get my gun ready. I kept thinking “Please be a buck, please be a buck!” That’s when I saw it. I saw a rack and it didn’t matter how many points he had.

Dad whispered “It’s a buck! Get ready! I’ll stop him in the opening!” I kept trying to shush him for fear of the deer hearing us. I started to shake and I had my gun right where I needed it. I looked thru the scope and he came into the opening. His nose was right to the ground and I could tell he had no idea we were there. Dad made a “MERP” sound and the bucked looked up over his shoulder. I aimed behind the shoulder, just like I was taught and squeezed the trigger. I watched the deer drop in his tracks and I started to cry instantly. I felt the tree stand start to shake as my dad started to jump for joy. I cried happily because I finally got my first deer, and my dad was there to experience it with me.

We climbed down out of the tree stand and I continued to shake. I kept repeating ‘Oh my god, Oh my god.’ I was still in shock as we walked toward it. Dad took my gun and poked his eyeball to make sure it was dead. Sure enough, he was dead. Dad undressed to prepare for the field dressing which wasn’t my favorite.  I was so stoked to finally get my first deer, but never knew how much work really goes into it.

– Nicole Benware

Tim FaceHow about that?! Congratulations on your first deer, Nicole. That’s awesome! I happen to think it’s pretty cool that you wrote this story in your English class. 🙂
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