We all remember our first time. Maybe our Father or a family member took us out for our first experience. For some of us, it happened using a rifle or a bow. What were you thinking? Let me start over.
For many of us, our first deer or big game critter came during a youth hunt. Our hunting mentors set us up for success and were there to teach us and celebrate the moment. Some hunters spend a life time waiting for their moment. I always feel bad for rookies that harvest a monster buck or bull for their first time. Now, anything but a trophy is acceptable. For others, it seemed too easy. I can remember every detail of almost every time I tagged a deer or elk.
The first time must belong to the hunter. Ultimately, the trigger pull and responsibility is theirs. So are the outcomes. Killing a great bull or deer is not easy. The harvest is a very personal and intimate experience. You don’t want to be too “blood thirsty” or too “whimpy”. Taking a life is a hard thing to understand. You don’t want the critter to suffer and you want to enjoy eating what you bring home. Non-hunters don’t understand. That’s ok. All of us are different.
The “Hunt” is a wonderful experience. Humans are all “Hunters and Gatherers”. Hunting is something that friends and family do together. Nature supplies all of our needs to survive. Our human canine teeth define us as carnivores. Yes we eat meat! Every legal and ethically harvested critter is a “trophy”.
I helped my friend tag his first buck in 38 years of hunting camp. Rick loves hunting camp and is a great friend and cook. He also looks forward to being with his friends each deer season. He hunts hard and always does his best. This year, the stars aligned, the lucky mojo worked, and Rick placed a tag on his first 4×4 whitetail buck.
It is called “Hunting”. That means that hunters safely search, hunt, and look for their quarry. Rick is a great hunter. His patience, attitude, and company are excellent. He has never had a bad hunting season. To Rick, the hunt was not measured by the tag on a critter. It was measured by the friendship and experience of the “camp”. He has dressed, dragged, processed, and celebrated everyone else’s bucks. This year he took care of his own! For the first time, hunting camp had a new meaning.
Rick’s first buck will be mounted and symbolize a special moment of success, sadness, celebration, and happiness. Hunting is a complicated thing. This buck will not be about bragging rights. Every time Rick looks at this buck, he will remember the many seasons, chances, stories, and the moment he did one thing from start to finish.
The first time is always the BEST!