Well my first deer hunt was different I suppose you could say.  Everytihng and anything that you could imagine happening happened.  There was near death, a chance at a buck of a lifetime, blood, tears, and most of all a great memory that will never be forgotten.

       Lets start at the beginning shall we.  I was 12 when I received my hunting license.  I had squirrel hunted a couple of times and enjoyed it, but it was nothing special.  I figured I had at least a couple of years before my dad would allow me to deer hunt but boy was I wrong.  One night when we were sitting around the television watching football my dad asked me if I wanted to go hunt the early season muzzleloader hunt.  I thought he was kidding and was even in disbelief but sure enough he was serious.  Of course I screamed yes and started dreaming of what it would be like to see a deer in the wild.  The hunt was in southeastern Ohio at a wildlife area my uncle had hunted before.  He told my dad the general area of some spots he had as we pulled out of town.  The drive was long but when we finally got there I was in shock.  The wildlife area was covered in massive hills and ravines.  I thought how in earth are we supposed to hunt with that kind of terrain?  We got  there just in time to do some scouting before dark.  We had walked about a mile or so into the timber when the worst sound I have ever heard in my life went off.  We were headed up a rocky hill when a very loud rattling noise sounded out.  My dad froze and said son, dont move!  I froze and listened for further directions.  He told me to back away slowly and I followed his command.  After I was back aways he jumped backwards.  My dads foot was right above the head of a timber rattlesnake.  It struck at him as he jumped away but missed.  If he would have been bitten it would have been sure death, as I would not have been able to help him out to the truck, or drive, or even find my way to a hospital!  After that hairy incident we decided we should call it a night and head back to the truck.  My dad had a couple of spots in mind for the next morning and there was no need to go further.  That night was among the longest in my life.  I could not stop thinking about that hunt (not to mention the cot that my dad made me sleep on, while he was in a comfy bed, was nothing to brag about).  Finally, morning came after a slim couple hours of sleep.  I was so excited.  I could not believe I would actually be deer hunting!  We ate breakfast at a local tavern and headed to the woods.  The morning hunt was uneventful until later in the morning when a couple of does came feeding through the timber on the way to a thicket behind us.  The deer presented many shots for me but I could not seem to get them in the scope!  Finally they moved on out of sight and I did not get a shot.  My dad began talking to me saying I need to try hard to get them into the scope.  I realized I may never get another chance like that this year!  Just as my dad stopped talking to me there was a huge ruckus in front of us.  A deer was running towards the thicket but I could not see what it was.  Finally as he ran past us I could see it was a monster buck!  Back then I had no clue exactly how big he was but today I can tell you that he was well past 160″.  Obviously the deer had heard my dad talking to us and had taken off.  I began to tear up but realized I did not have time as I caught movement in front of me.  It was three does working their way towards us.  The lead doe finally turned broadside and I had her in my crosshairs.  I jerked the trigger ( I know your not supposed to but I was young!) and smoke filled the air.  Leaves were rustling and all heck was breaking lose!  When the smoke finally cleared I was looking directly into the sky.  I, being 100 pounds and no muscle at the time, had been blown backwards off of the five gallon bucket I had been sitting on and onto the ground.  My dad was in tears laughing and I couldnt help but laugh too.  Finally when we could breathe we got up and went to the spot where I had shot at the deer.  There was blood covering the ground and we began to track her.  Finally about 100 yards into the tracking job my dad looks at me and says that the blood is drying up.  I looked at him and asked wahat in the world that meant. He said the deer may live.  He told me to take the trail.  My heart sank as I began following the blood trail.  Almost 30 yrds later I looked up and there she was.  I turned around to look at my dad and he was laughing again.  He had lied to me.  A huge smile spread across my face as I ran up to her.  I could not believe that I had killed a deer.  After all that we had been through that weeked I actually got a deer.  My dad had almost been fatally bitten by a rattlesnake, we had missed an opportunity at a buck of a lifetime, I had been physically abused by my muzzleloader, I had been tricked, and finally I had been rewarded with my first deer.  The weekend was a rollercoaster of emotions, a rollercoaster that I would gladly ride again if I had the chance.  That weekend is what hunting is supposed to be about!  I will never forget that weekend!