Patience Is Rewarded: Bart’s First Deer


The 2017 season had it’s ups and downs for myself and most of my fellow hunters.  One story that I will always remember and enjoy talking about is the story of my good friend, Bart, and his first deer.  It took him countless hours in the stand and a lot of work balancing work, home ownership, and most importantly being an excellent dad and husband, but his success was worth it all.
Here is Bart’s story as only he could tell it:

A hobby becomes a passion
I’ve always liked the idea of hunting.  Truth is, up until about 2 or 3 years ago I used hunting as more of a social event than an opportunity to actually hunt an animal.  This isn’t to say that I wasn’t trying to harvest a Michigan whitetail deer, I just wasn’t making it a priority.
As I watched one of my best friends, Coop, become very invested and actively involved in grooming his newly purchased slab of dirt, I realized that hunting is an all in sport.  Coop has been a hunter since a very young age.  His Grandpa and Father taught him everything he knows and he has translated these lessons into many successful hunts.  I’ve been lucky enough to have been brought into their family and have begun to learn the “trade” of becoming a hunter.  Through these lessons I’ve learned that you are either a hunter or you are not. There is no “luke warm” approach. You need to be all about it or make room for someone that wants to be in the woods.
The Hunt

So, I’ve said all that to say this, on Wednesday November 22nd, I harvested my first deer!  It was a chilly afternoon and the wind wasn’t exactly in my favor, but as I said before, the dedication to the craft lead me to the deer blind that night.  Now, I was able to sit in a spot that Coop typically likes to occupy.  We call it “the tar paper shack”.  Obviously, it’s an old shack mainly constructed of a few old pallets and, as you guessed, some tar paper.  This has been Coops spot since he was a kid, but tonight, he offered it up to me. 

So I snuck back to my spot and settled in for the night hunt.  Nothing much was really happening and the wind was picking up and  I thought for sure deer would be picking up my scent, even though I’m pretty careful about keeping my scent down.  All of a sudden there was movement in front of me.  Two doe had decided to make an appearance with just about 5 minutes of good light left.  I brought up my muzzleloader and got the biggest one in my scope.

The moment of truth

I watched these two mess around in the brush in front of me for a few minutes.  With light running out, I realized that if I was going to take a shot it needed to be sooner rather than later.  Seconds later my doe stepped out of the brush and into a small clearing.  I focused on where I wanted to place my shot and squeezed the trigger…BOOM!!She took off like crazy! The thought came into my mind that maybe I had missed her.  Coop and Paul came over a few minutes later and we walked down to where I thought contact was made.  Sure enough, we found a good blood trail that lead us right to her.  She traveled about 40 yards in total. 

Bart's First Deer!!
Bart’s First Deer!!
Lessons that only can be learned in the Great Outdoors
I’ve learned so much about myself and what it means to be a hunter.  We need to always respect nature and the gifts it provides us.  We harvest deer in order to feed our families.  We take the life of an animal so that we can sustain life. That’s not something we should take lightly.
What an awesome hunt. Now the work begins!
What an awesome hunt. Now the work begins!

Thanks again to Coop and Paul for teaching me how to be a real hunter and not just a guy that says he’s a hunter.  I look forward to our trips to the woods and to many more memorable experiences together in the future! Stay safe everyone and happy hunting!