Luke’s First Deer

It all started with a phone call while I was on the way to my deer lease in Brownwood, Texas. The call was from good friend Steven Marksberry. Him and his son Luke were at the lease, trying to get Luke his first deer.

Hunting had been tough all season, and that seemed to be continuing on this hunt. I told him that we would all pile in my pop up blind that evening, as I was sure we would have some action. I had only been to this blind one time without seeing a deer. He agreed, and the plan was made.

I arrived just after noon, and we sat around camp discussing the tough hunting we had encountered this season. Later that afternoon we headed to the blind.

The small blind was cramped, but we maneuvered ourselves into position. As it got darker, I began to feel anxious. We had yet to see a deer, and Luke was getting very jittery. The evening ended without a single sighting of a deer. I felt terrible!

That evening, we cooked dinner and discussed the game plan for the next morning. Even after the uneventful evening, Luke decided he wanted to go with me back to the blind. His dad was going to go to another blind, and see if he could fill his tag as well.

The next morning, we all woke up, got dressed, and headed to the blind.

Luke and I arrived at the blind well before light, and had a ball discussing what would happen if a deer came to our set up. At first light, I got Luke’s shooting stick set up, and the wait began. We sat there for an uneventful couple of hours, and I was beginning to get nervous.

The weather was cool, the wind calm and the rain misting. It should be great weather for deer movement, I thought.

The Deer Arrive

Just as we began to give up hope, I caught movement to the left of the blind. I put up the binoculars and saw a young buck with four does.

I told Luke to get his gun up, and about the time he did, the deer trotted off.

I told him to keep his gun up, in case they came back in. Sure enough, the four does snuck back in from the left. "There they are, Luke!" I whispered. The excitement grew.

But Luke had a problem: he couldn’t find the deer in the scope! I said they are right there, in the big opening! Now three of the deer trotted down the hill. Oh no, I thought. They are going to get away, I said to myself.

Patience Pays Off

As the last and largest doe began to leave, Luke said, "There she is!" I said, "shoot her!" Luke put the .243’s crosshairs on the doe’s shoulder, and dropped her in her tracks.

I immediately grabbed him, and said, "you got her!" He gave me a high-five, and was ready to tear the blind down getting out. I told him to give her about 5 more minutes, just to be safe. After five minutes, (what must have seemed like an hour to Luke), we got out and headed to the doe.

In his excitement, he tried to call his dad on the cell phone in the other blind, but accidentally called his mom, and woke her up. He told her the story, and we headed to the doe.

When we got up to her, she was laying right where she had stood. The look on Luke’s face was priceless. I was so proud of him, and so proud to get to share this with him.

I set up my camera and tripod, and took some pictures of Luke with his first deer. He was the happiest hunter on earth.

We headed back to camp, and on the way, his dad called and asked if we had shot. Luke proudly told him the story, and we planned to wait on him to go pick up Luke’s trophy.

We went and picked up the deer, and both Steven and Luke had proud looks on their faces. I was so happy for them. This was one of those moments we all dream of as hunters.

To see Luke’s face after taking his deer, reminded me of why deer hunting is so special. We ended the trip with very few deer sightings, but the trip could not have been any better.

There is nothing better than spending several days in the outdoors with good friends. I know this deer hunt will remain as one of my favorites of all time, and will be forever carved into Luke’s memory as well.

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