Introducing someone new to deer hunting often has a great result when they discover what many others already know: they love it!
Erich Smelka and Lindsey Meyer have been dating about three years. He’s a lifelong hunter, having grown up in Pennsylvania, and she grew up with little exposure to hunting. But Meyer joined him in the woods and now is a hunter!
Here’s their “I’m A Deer Hunter” story. Be sure to check out other IADH stories here!
Years Hunting: 2
Favorite Season: Archery
Type of Bow: Hoyt Ruckus
Occupation: Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Student
I’m definitely not what you would call, a “typical” hunter. I grew up in a suburban neighborhood with family members who were rarely exposed to anything hunting related. I was a girl who enjoyed shopping, going to the beach, and getting my hair done.
Even though I still enjoy those things, I have found a much different passion. I met my boyfriend, Erich, in March 2010 at a Justin Moore concert and we had an instant connection. Oddly enough, Erich and I shared similar interests such as country music, camping, and hanging around bonfires with friends. However, unlike me, Erich grew up hunting whitetail. Erich was very enthusiastic about exposing me to hunting, and in the fall of 2010, he finally convinced me to go hunting on his father’s property.
My family and friends couldn’t believe that I was actually going hunting. We saw a few doe, but they were too far away to take a shot at. Something very noteworthy was the feeling I experienced when I first spotted those doe, and it was unlike anything I had ever felt before. Words cannot explain how fast my heart was beating, or how shaky my whole body was. I’m sure other hunters out there would agree that the feeling is utterly addicting. That is when I knew I loved hunting.
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In the summer of 2011 I finally had saved up enough money to purchase my first compound bow, a Hoyt Ruckus. I was so excited to get home and practice shooting with my new bow. I practiced all summer long and finally went out this past archery season by myself. I have had many encounters with whitetail while hunting, but I have yet to harvest one.
I think my most memorable experience was on the first day of archery (season) in 2011. Erich and I were set up in a blind alongside a creek where we had scouted (and found) a lot of whitetail movement. Just as we were about to leave, we heard something move behind us. Erich told me to draw my bow.
My heart was pounding and my arms were shaking uncontrollably, and sure enough before I knew it, I was eye to eye with a mature doe. Just as a released, the doe did a 180-degree turn and was gone in a split second. I was so bummed, but also glad I got my first “miss” out of the way. It was an encouraging experience for me to get back out there and try again. I have realized how much of a learning curve hunting actually is.
I’m glad I have found something else I am passionate about, and being a full time graduate student currently, it’s a great way to escape the hardships of school. It is also something special that Erich and I share together, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I played Division II women’s soccer during my undergraduate studies at Mercyhurst University. I was at Mercyhurst for four years (Bachelors in Science) and now I am at Gannon for my graduate work for PT.
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Favorite season: Archery
Favorite show: I enjoy all hunting shows
Celebrity hunter: I don’t necessarily look up to a celebrity hunter, but Tim Wells is probably my favorite.
I’ve been interested in the outdoors and hunting since I can remember! I grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania where hunting seems to be a religion with most people. Before I was old enough to hunt I remember running around the woods on our property dressed in camouflage. I couldn’t wait to go out collect turkey feathers and look for deer antlers.
Even though I did not realize it at the time, I was teaching myself a lot about the wildlife, which benefits me today as a hunter. My father, who taught me what I know about hunting and made it possible for me to hunt, is the one person I look up to the most. I will always be thankful he brought me into this wonderful sport.
I could not wait to turn 12 years old to buy my first hunting license and begin hunting. I will always remember the first time I ever went deer hunting. My father took me out that October for the junior doe hunt. I could not wait to get out of school that day to hit the woods to try to kill my first deer. That evening my father and I set up behind a few big round bales in a field out behind our house. All I could think of was different scenarios and what I would do if a deer came out.
We sat for about two hours and finally, two doe worked their way out of the woods and began feeding down the edge of the field. My heart was pumping so hard I could hear it. My dad turned to me and said “they are about 90 yards.” He told me to slowly bring my gun up, and shoot when I was ready. I put the crosshairs behind her shoulder and squeezed the trigger on my grandpa’s 30-30 Marlin that had been passed down to me.
After the shot my dad looks at me and said, “you dropped her.” I can remember that moment as one of my most proud to that day, my first deer.
The feeling I got when I saw those deer was like no other, like a drug that only hunter gets to experience. A few years later I began Archery hunting and found my real passion. To this day my life revolves around hunting, and I could not imagine life with out it. I recently became a Pro Staff member for Water, Timber, Field Outdoors (WTFoutdoors), founded by Damion Sadd, who lives in Iowa. I am privileged to be a part of this team and group of guys. Please be sure to check out the website at www.WTFoutdoors.com
When I met Lindsey she was not a hunter, or a girl I could imagine being a hunter. I guess after being around my buddies and I long enough, where conversations of whitetail and any kind of hunting is a daily thing, it began to rub off and interest her. She began scouting different archery hunting spots with me and hanging tree stands. She learned a lot quickly and I could see it was interesting to her.
Her favorite part is checking the trail cams to see what we pictures of. My buddy and I took her with us to turkey hunt one spring morning. I shot a longbeard that morning and she got to experience the whole thing. After that rush of excitement hunter’s experience, I could see she had the ambition to hunt.
See More “I’m A Deer Hunter” Stories HERE!