My hunting season started this year in early November with my little sister Brooklyn, begging to go hunting squirrels. We hadn’t gone for so long, and the last time we went with our father we got our day limit the first time we went out. This year, my sister and I had an idea – to go squirrel hunting all by ourselves. This was the first time we had ever been hunting alone. We were both so excited to head out and finally feel all grown up, hunting by ourselves. All my siblings and I have been hunting with my dad for years for squirrel, bear, deer and even, wild hogs.
My dad always taught and reminded us of proper gun safety every single time we went hunting. He was always very strict about it, even if we had been hunting a thousand times before, and it was one of the most important things I learned on our trips. As my older siblings grew, he would let them hunt alone of course, but I always wanted to be a “big kid” and hunt alone as well. We had been scouting this area all fall, and it seemed to fill up with more and more wildlife each time we peeked into the holler. This year was finally my year. My little sister and I donned our camouflage and headed out into our backyard, the Appalachian outdoors.
As we walked through the woods, I carried a CZ All-American, we thought could hear the sneaky rodents chatter and stir up the leaves on the woodland floor. We snuck up to a good place to sit atop a ridge and wait for curious squirrels to come see what all the ruckus was about. My little sister and I grinned from ear to ear, for sure we could bring something home. As we sat as still as we can and wait, the loud chattering completely stopped. My sister and I felt disappointed. Somehow, we spooked them all away.
However, we continued to hear steps, though, coming closer to where we sat. These footsteps sounded louder than a squirrel. My sister whispered to me, “What if it’s a bear?” As we both stood up and peeked over the ridge, we saw a group of 6 deer staring straight at us. My little sister and I felt completely dumbfounded that we hadn’t spooked the cautious deer. As we shifted around to see the deer better, 4 deer behind the leading 2 ran off. A huge doe and a spike buck lingered. The doe came about 10 yards away from where stood and stared at us, unmoving.
My little sister took her phone out to record the encounter, and the doe started to stomp at us. As I tried to hold in my laughter, my fiery little sister stomped right back. They continued stomping at each other for what seemed to be 5 minutes, and I, wheezing from laughter, could not even believe the deer would be that brave.
Although my sister and I didn’t bring home anything for supper, we brought home an experience we will never, ever forget. Now, that is what hunting and just being outdoors is all about. It’s not what you kill, but it is about the time you spend with your family, friends, nature and the good Lord.
Our next outdoor adventure in Appalachia will be trapping. I can’t wait to share my trapping adventures with everyone. Hint: We had success.