My First Deer

By Brigham Stepp

Editor’s note: This story was written by an 11-year-old. We initially thought the kid’s dad edited it to make his kid sound like a better writer but then he sent in a picture of the original hand-written story. Dad only corrected spelling when he typed it up. The world needs more kids (and parents) like this.

I was 10 years old, and it seemed like a regular morning. Little did I know, it was going to be one of the best days of my life. My dad and I were at my grandparents’ cabin. All of our stuff was ready; all we had to do was eat breakfast and we could start.

My dad and I woke up a little late, but we were still going to hunt. When we were walking to our hunting spot early in the morning, the sun was just coming up. As we were walking I got bored, so I started copying my dad’s movements. All of a sudden, my dad stopped on top of a hill. I looked and saw a pack of coyotes on the next hillside. We watched them until they went out of sight.

Then, we kept walking. By that time, we were halfway to our hunting spot. We were at the bottom of the hill near the pond, it was steaming. I asked dad, “Why is it doing that?” He said, “Because the air is colder than the pond.” It looks eerie but warm and beautiful at the same time. After that short conversation, we could almost see over the hill. We crouched down and peeked over the hill. We saw three doe across the canyon on the bean field. We quietly snuck halfway down the hill and sat down and got set up to sit for a while.

It was not a very active morning. All we saw were a few doe on the neighbor’s property. It was fun watching the fawn dance around her mom and the sun come up.

The deer wandered back into the trees. After that, it was a very long hour sitting and waiting. I was just saying, “Dad, my feet are too cold!” when he interrupted me and said, “Are you sure? Because I see a buck!”

I looked at where he was pointing and saw a 3×3 whitetail buck. I got the .243 pointed in that general direction while the buck’s head was down. I was watching it like a hawk, and then a 4×4 walked out from behind a tree and scared the little buck by false-charging it. When the little guy got spooked, it ran closer to us. It was 50 yards away from us now and had spotted us! I thought the hunt was over!

I could not move my position, or the deer would get spooked. It seemed like the deer stared at me for hours. It was really just one minute. He turned around and walked back down the hill.

He was now at 100 yards, not moving and turned broadside. I got positioned and looked in the scope. I aimed right behind his shoulder blade. I got steady, and I took a breath in, and halfway through my exhale, I stopped and slowly started to squeeze the trigger.


I jumped up in excitement and looked at the deer laying on the ground. I looked at my dad, and his smile was just as big as mine. We gave the deer a minute, then slowly started to walk down the hill. When we got down the hill, I found out that I had shot him in the spine and paralyzed him. I had to put it out of his misery, and it was a hard thing to do.

After that, we said a prayer, took a few pictures, and then gutted him. We drove back to the cabin with the deer and told the rest of the family the entire story. That day I learned how excited I could actually get. I also learned that the last minutes are the ones that count. I will always remember my first deer hunt and how grateful I was for the experience.

From the FE Films Archive

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