Rich, 40, SW Ohio
I have only been hunting for 3 years. My most memorable is the first hunt, my first year. My buddy took me hunting in central Ohio. Long story short, a huge 10 point buck comes within what I estmated as 10 yards of the stand broadside, he stops and grazes. I draw back my bow and let the arrow fly...right under his chest! That big boy jumped a foot high, then apparently was ticked off at whatever it was that tickled his chest. He stomped and snorted, his head was straight up looking for the culprit. I was frozen in place, trying to figure how on earth I just missed a 10 yard shot. He hung around for a minute or two. Had I gained my composure and stopped shaking from the adreniline rush I may have been able to nock another arrow and take another shot. He then saunters off into the woods out of sight. My heart was still racing. I was sure I had the shot. I had practiced a 20 yard shot over and over again before the season so I knew I could nail a 10 yard shot. Here is what went wrong...OK this may sound really dumb...but I really had no idea. I figured since it was only a 10 yard shot I should bring my 20 yard pin lower to compensate for the 10 yard difference. Silly me...only later to find out I should have kept the 20 yard pin on his vitals. I also came back to the stand later after lunch, this time with a range finder...only to find out it was a 21 yard shot. I was humbled by this event and for the past 3 years have dedicated myself to being educated not only on the deer, but on the tool I choose to hunt with. I have gained such a passion for this sport. The memory of my first hunt...and miss... drive my passion to learn all I can. I have gained a great apprecition for the sport and for the whitetails I hunt. I am still chasing that buck...in real life and my dreams.
My son is 10 years old and is starting to show interest in hunting. I bought him his first gun..a Rossi Youth single shot combination .22 rifle and interchangeable .20 gauge shotgun barrel. I took him to the range, made SAFETY his first priority and made sure he understood how to line up his target etc.. He loved shooting the .22. After a long while of shooting the .22 he asked to change out the barrel to the .20 guage. I warned him it kicks like a mule and even shot it once so he can see. I was aware he still did not fully comprehend the recoil. I had him sit on a bench, resting the gun, made sure he lined up his target, told him to hold the gun tight and let him fire it. I positioned myself just behind him because I had a feeling he was going to be pushed back when he shot it. Sure enough, he fired, him and the bench started falling backwards. Luckily I was there to stop him from falling off the bench. His eyes were as big as an apple pie. He just looked at me stunned. I smiled at him and aksed what he thought...he said "Dad, can we go back to shooting the .22?". We went and retrieved the target. Woudn't you know it...his shot was an inch off from dead center...two inches better than my shot! I have a feeling I will be enjoying many more memories with my son! He already told me he wants to go turkey hunting in the Spring. Awesome!