Firsts. Life is full of them. We usually have fond or, at the very least, entertaining memories of our firsts–especially when it comes to outdoor activities. The first buck I ever shot was one of the most intense experiences of my life. The first fish I caught was one of the most exciting moments of my life, the first successful trap check I had was one of the most intense and exciting experiences of my life…AND, I was fortunate enough to experience another first this past weekend while joining Jason Maxwell and his Dad, Randy Maxwell, on a game damage hunt in the Bitterroot.
Here’s a rundown of another one of my firsts:
I walked down the draw, trailing behind the Randy and Jason, taking my time, while looking for fresh elk sign. I just happened to glance down long enough to see a mule deer antler that had been recently shed! I immediately thought the two guys in front of me saw it and just dropped it, because there was no way they walked right past it. The Maxwells are like eagles when it comes to spotting sheds. But, when I picked it up from the patch of wet snow it was in, it had obviously been there overnight, at the very least, as it was frozen to the melting snow. Talk about excitement!
I had no idea what to do except make a weird, whispery noise that ended up being formed into the words “hey..oh my gosh, oh my gosh”….on repeat…while hyperventilating. I had to whisper yell, because we were actually still hunting. The guys turned around, and I was holding up the antler like I had just found 100 ounces of gold (see photo above). “Hey, she found a horn,” Randy said. It only took me til I was 36 years-old to find one! It makes me wonder how many sheds I have passed over the years only because I just didn’t look down. However, I then wonder how many animals I would have missed seeing while hunting if I were looking down more often. It’s always a catch 22. lol
This particular first gave me the same exact heart-pounding, adrenaline-pumping excitement that my other outdoor firsts gave me, even though the shed is just a little three-pointer (pictured above). Now, I’m on a mission to be more observant and, hopefully, find more sheds.
Yeah, I know…I’m so easy, but what a great moment.