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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 11/18/2012 11:49:59 AM EST
This is my third season hunting and I shot my first deer this morning! Shot her on Black Kettle WMA about 6 miles from the Oklahoma-Texas state line a little after 9am. Now for the story...

I decided at about 9pm last night to go hunt some public land that I had only been too once before. After some driving around I find a section that has no vehicles parked along the road or parking area.

I walk in and when the small patch of woods opens up I see a wide open area with a shallow hill in the middle and a small patch of trees on top. I figure even the short hill will provide some vantage on any wildlife in the area so I go up to the patch of scraggly trees. I end up on the other side leaning against a tree growing away from the rest. I am on the north slope of this geographical feature facing East towards some lower areas of the rolling hills. There are a few patches of trees spaced out, one of them being 60-80 yards in front of me. To the left and right I can see for miles. I settle in and start scanning the landscape through my scope.

Hmm...this tree is actually kind of comfortable...

*This is where I drift off to sleep for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes...alone...on public land...at least I had my hunter orange on! *

What was that noise? HOLYJEEBUSTHEREARETHREEDEERSHAPEDOBJECTSRIGHT­THERE!!! (They were three does about 50 yards away.) After two empty seasons I bought one antlered and one antlerless tag so I could shoot the first sizeable deer I saw. I line the scope up and can't see anything that I can make sense of. I realize I have the power turned all of the way up and reach up and crank the power down. Look through the scope again and these three does are still staring at me with giant wtf? looks on their faces. I put the crosshairs on the largest one and squeeze the trigger.

Did she move before my gun fired? I think she did. Did I hit her? OMGWTFBBQ SHE'S RUNNING RIGHT AT ME!!! I work the bolt, line up another shot, and *click*. I short-stroked it. She starts running away, stops, and then leaps into the air. This is where things slowed wayyyy down for me as I saw a beautiful arc of red spray come out of her and she moved through the air. She landed behind a shrub and I didn't see her get back up. This shrub is out away from the other shrubs. There's nowhere she can go without me seeing. She must have not gotten up.

She's done! I did it! My first deer after hours and hours freezing my butt off around Oklahoma for years and I have finally shot a deer! Okay, okay, calm down. What did those youtube videos say to do now? I need to wait and make sure she's dead before I go check on her. They said 30 minutes to an hour should do it for a good chest shot. I check the time. Ok, I can turn on the music on my phone and chill for half an hour. I can replay the shot in my head too.

I made it 10 minutes. I walk over and poke her in the butt with the barrel. Nothing. Walk around and poke her in the eye. Nothing. Doe down.

The gun is a Savage model 11 in .308win and the scope is a Nikon 3-9x with the BDC reticle.

The exit wound doesn't look too bad. It was large enough for me to fit the end of my pointer finger into easily. When I rolled her over to check the entry wound I saw it. She did turn away from me as I was pulling the trigger. Gut shot. Again, youtube warned me about this. Field dressing was going to probably make me gag.

Youtube does not lie. I nearly threw up twice. The bullet passed through and blew apart the stomach before piercing the diaphragm and obliterating the bottom portion of the left lung. There wasn't just a hole in that lung, the bottom part was gone. I couldn't find any lung pieces floating around. Now comes the hard part...

I had to drag her fat butt over a half mile through knee high dry grass and brush. I think I just became one of those hunters who swears the smaller deer taste better.

After some struggling (I forgot to bring a rope) I get her to the back of my truck.

You can also see where the entry wound is.

Finally. I am tired, breathing hard, covered in blood that isn't mine, but there she is. My first deer.

My dad isn't a hunter and has never taken much interest in me hunting, but when I called him and told him he drove an hour and a half to meet me back at my apartment to see my first deer. Then he asked how much of the meat wasn't going to fit into my freezer.

Now about that "lucky" part. I know I did a lot of things wrong. I fell asleep, alone, on public land during the opening weekend of rifle season. Those does actually woke me up and surprised me. Shooting at them was more of a knee jerk reaction with part of me screaming at the other part to remember what I was supposed to do. My shot placement wasn't great. It was definitely an experience though, and now I know several things I need to work on for next season.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:02:36 PM EST
Great story and nice pics!! I'm gearing up for my first season - opens on the 28th for rifle. Can't wait.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:10:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By KingAirDriver:
Great story and nice pics!! I'm gearing up for my first season - opens on the 28th for rifle. Can't wait.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 12:58:25 PM EST
Welcome to the club munkie! Next time, challenge yourself and go for a neck shot. You will be pleasantly surprised when you make the shot, and have instant gratification.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 1:58:11 PM EST
Congrats on your first deer, you'll never forget that doe.

I nap all the time when I hunt, as do most people I know. It's probably not the best thing in the world as far as safety/missing shootable deer but there it is. Getting up at 3AM will do that to you.

Link Posted: 11/18/2012 2:32:15 PM EST
Looks like we have the exact same rifle. And yours appears just about as new (still got the sticker).

The first one is the ice breaker. You have a lot of hunting left to bag a monster! Just pray you dont pick up bow hunting...youll spend every waking moment in the tree if your wife doesnt divorce you first!
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 3:42:54 PM EST
First.... Congrats on your first Deer !!!
Not too many mistakes that I can tell. I don't understand why falling asleep is considered a mistake for any reason other than missing shot oportunities.
Something I heard before I got into scopes is to leave your scope on its lowest setting whenever you aren't trying to zoom it in for the long distance shot. That tid-bit has helped me quite a bit over the years.

Sounds like you made the shot just in time and have some really good meat to show for your efforts.

Try a hot grill, olive oil, salt and pepper, and cook it as rare as you think you can get away with.

I have settled on about 90 seconds per side over a 600 + degree grill and won a cook - off contest with that method.

Originally Posted By PlayFront36:
Looks like we have the exact same rifle. And yours appears just about as new (still got the sticker).

The first one is the ice breaker. You have a lot of hunting left to bag a monster! Just pray you dont pick up bow hunting...youll spend every waking moment in the tree if your wife doesnt divorce you first!

Bool-Shit I say !!!

Archery hunting season is L-O-O-O-N-G !!!

Life happens so, so what if you have to cancel a trip. You can always find a window to go over the course of a few months. Much more oppportunities than the 10 day window we have for guns.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 8:15:37 PM EST
Sounds like you still have that buck tag to fill. Let dad have some venison after you take your lessons out and apply them to the next deer.
Link Posted: 11/18/2012 9:00:15 PM EST
Congratulations, hunter!

You can play back all the "What ifs", but don't dwell on them –– she's still dead and she'll still be delicious.
Your next one will be tidier.

Get her butchered and in the freezer and fridge –– you've got another tag to fill!!!
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 5:57:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/19/2012 6:00:29 AM EST by Seansworth]
Thanks everyone.

Deer was dropped off at the processor yesterday evening. They said it will be about a week and they'll give me a call when it's ready. Front quarters are being cut up for steaks and the rear quarters are being ground up with 10% beef fat added. I know I don't have a large enough freezer for it all and Dad called dibs on the rest. If work doesn't kill me tonight (I work nights) I plan on going back out in the morning. With it being a weekday I am hoping most people will be at work and I can do a bit of stalking along some nice looking ridges I saw yesterday.

Or I may go sit at that same comfortable tree.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:12:34 AM EST
Just a few thoughts from someone who prefers his deer to taste good. I like Doe better than Buck. If you field dress in the actual field, especially after a gut shot, the deer wil not have as much time to bleed those stomach/intestinal juices into the thoracic cavity. Also, the quicker you get the meat cooled, the better it is. I have a tendency to get to the kill right after it hits the deck, cut the throat, hang it if I can and let the blood drain before it pools. I also start gutting and field dressing at this time. The deer are a lot easier to carry out sans internals!
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:19:55 AM EST
I started field dressing her within 30 minutes of the shot. I stopped by the first gas station I saw and picked up a bag of ice and stuck that inside the chest cavity for the drive back.
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:39:43 AM EST
Takes a brave man to post their failures online. I've been hunting for thirty years, or more, and I have more mistakes than successes to talk about.

Good on ya for taking the time to write it up and post about it.

I'm not proud of every shot I've ever taken, but, it's the screw-ups that make you better.

Link Posted: 11/19/2012 6:50:11 AM EST
Well awesome! You did good killer! Good luck on your buck tag!
Link Posted: 11/19/2012 7:34:55 AM EST
I got my first deer on the coldest day of the year. I could barely stand to be outside. The only plus I had was that the snow made the drag out easy.
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 1:00:53 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/21/2012 1:45:17 PM EST
Congrats! I also gut shot my first deer, it just about ruined me. I too had to learn by trial and error on my own but I do ok now.

I sleep just about every time I'm out hunting if I'm not spot and stalking or still hunting. Sitting in a stand or blind for more than a hour or two and I'm out.
Link Posted: 11/22/2012 9:37:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By john575:
I got my first deer on the coldest day of the year. I could barely stand to be outside. The only plus I had was that the snow made the drag out easy.

Same. I was 7 yrs old, and it was very cold, wet day. Just after sun-up, the sky cleared and it started to warm up. Shot my first deer while I was still freezing my butt off, but I couldn't have been happier, and neither could my dad. Coincidentally, this was also my first "solo" hunt. My dad had a ladder stand deeper into the thicket, but still within earshot. I suspect he passed up my little 7-piont and was sipping his coffee waiting on the report of my little 20 ga.
No snow though. 16 degrees, but no snow.

You done well. I've had the pleasure of gutting gut shot deer before, and it's never fun (I won't comment on whose ). When that happens, gut them as fast as possible after you find them, and rinse them out thoroughly with fresh water if you aren't going to quarter them immediately. The warmer the weather, the faster you have to work. If nothing else, it'll teach you to be very careful with you're shot placement.

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