How Hunting Changed Me For Good – Part One

Welcome to part one of our dual-perspective hunting series. I will be writing from the perspective of a new hunter and student, and my co-worker will be writing from the stand point of the experienced hunter and teacher. We will both be writing about similar aspects of the hunt and how that particular part of the hunting experience affected us. We hope to highlight some of the major differences between seasoned hunters and those new to the sport, so that everyone has a new and exciting look into how different, yet how similar, hunting experiences will be.

Becoming a hunter

Becoming a hunter

Courtney – Part 1
Since my story starts much more recently, I can start from the beginning. My first hunting season was last year, although I like to refer to it more lovingly as my first sitting season.  I decided that I wanted to start hunting last year, so I took what little knowledge I have gleaned from my co-workers and my friends and ran with it. I got a little blind and a camera and set up shop at my parent’s pond. Then I sat. And sat, and sat. All season long and only saw one deer on the last day of the season. It was pretty disheartening. I mean, I anticipated it not being ‘action packed’, but wow.
I put that season behind me and decided to try again this year. I sat out a few times and again, saw nothing. I had been relaying my troubles to my co-worker, fishing for advice and words of encouragement when she offered to take me out during the quickly-approaching gun season. I jumped at the chance and we started making plans.
We went out the week before season started to walk her woods and set up a blind. We started on the east side of her property and picked our way through the woods. All the while, she was pointing out signs and explaining behavior as I just tried to soak in all the insightful information pouring from this long-time hunter. We set up camp on the west side of the woods against an open field that she knew was a favorite feeding spot. Once everyone was satisfied with the positioning, it was time to sight in my borrowed slug gun.

Savage 220

Savage 220

This was my first time handling a slug gun so I was a little nervous. Not to mention that the gun was borrowed from my boss, who I was really hoping to make proud of me. We headed out to the Silver Dollar Sportsman’s Club to sight in the gun and get me some practice. After some pretty dismal shots – that we later figured out were due to my breathing – we got everything lined up and I started to feel confident with my ability. At this point, I had about 15 rounds under my belt and we were ready to rock and roll.