Girl’s Hunt Provides More Than Backstraps
GON Junior Reporter: Annie Smith
The minutes ticked on: forty-four, forty-five, forty-six. I was running out of patience, time and getting really antsy. Dad told me to sit still; it was just getting prime time for the deer to start moving and coming out to eat. The anticipation was killing me. I had seen the big buck on the trail camera but did not think that I would be lucky enough to get a shot at him on my first kill. I was so nervous. My dad had way more faith in me than I had in myself. The minutes were still passing with no deer in sight: fifty-one, fifty-two, fifty-three.
One Saturday about eight years ago, Deddy took me to shoot for the first time. I was so excited. I remember him saying, “Aim for the middle of the bull’s-eye.” So, I did. I aimed right where he told me and pulled the trigger, BANG. “I hit the bull’s-eye, Dad, I hit it!”
So that’s all I talked about for weeks and weeks! I was constantly telling everyone how I shot that gun my first time and hit bull’s-eye. Of course, many shots after that were not even close to the bull’s-eye, but that was the one that counted in my eyes. I’m a pretty good shot, but you’re not always going to be right on target.
On my 10th birthday, my dad came to my birthday party with a brand-new hunting rifle. I have never been prouder to own anything in my life. It has since been one of my most prized possessions.
It had been an hour and a half into our hunting adventure and still no deer. Finally, after two hours of sitting there, the deer walked out to where I had a good shot on him. I raised up my gun and got him perfectly in my scope and pulled the trigger. BOOM, echoed the gun. The deer jumped straight up in the air and ran. He ran until he was completely out of sight.
Since the sun was beginning to set, we took the gun back to the truck and got our flashlights. We were determined to find this deer, so we walked for what felt like forever. It was only about a mile, but my short little legs were getting tired of walking. We were finally getting close. The blood was getting easier to track.
Finally, we could see him in the distance by shining our flashlights. I started running as fast as I could to get to the deer. It felt like my stomach was doing cartwheels and my heart was beating a thousand miles an hour. My dad finally got over there, and we got my PopPop to bring the 4-wheeler to drag it out of the woods.
It was such an awesome feeling to land a 7-pointer as my first deer. Before we went hunting, I really did not know if I had it in me to actually go through with the kill, but I succeeded with my goal, and I felt amazing afterward.
We had the deer skull mounted, and I now have it in my room. I have been hunting this year but have not really seen anything. I hope to be able to continue enjoying nature with my dad. It is a great feeling to be able to feed your family and make wonderful memories at the same time.
GON Junior Reporter: Annie Smith
Annie Smith, 14, of Eatonton, is a 9th grader at Putnam County High School and wrote the above essay for Mrs. El-Kadi’s English class to share a lesson she learned from her personal experience as a hunter. She has been hunting since she was 8 years old. Annie enjoys spending time outdoors, and she especially loves deer hunting and deep-sea fishing.
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