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Lake Doctor

First Shotgun Season Recap

Tue, November 25, 2014

Friday was cold. Deer moved, but my brothers and I didnt shoot anything.

Saturday was warm. Deer didnt move much, and we didnt shoot anything.

Sunday was by far my favorite and most memorable deer hunt to date.

At 4:30 am I woke up my two boys Noah (7) and Drake (4) and got their hunting coveralls on and we were out the door by 4:45. En Route to the hunting farm, we stopped at the gas station and loaded up on donuts and chocolate milk.

When we got to the farm, we had about 3/4 mile walk thru the woods to get to our deer hunting blind. We needed to hunt in the enclosed blind because of the rain in the forecast. I not only carried the backpack with snacks and drinks along with the gun, but had two little hands clinched tighter than you can imagine on that little hike thru the woods in the complete darkness.

We got up to the blind about 5:55 am and it started to rain shortly thereafter. The dark, overcast morning meant that it was gonna be awhile yet before it would be light enough to shoot, so the boys curled up and fell asleep.

About 6:45 am we had 2 does walk into our food plot, but it was still a little dark and I wasnt gonna shoot one till the boys were awake and I wasnt gonna wake the boys till it got a little lighter out.

7 am the boys got up with the sun and we had a couple coyotes come down a trail about 60 yards away. We tried to get one, but they kept moving away too quickly for us to shoot.

Then 15 minutes later a small 8 pointer comes down the same trail…. We talked about letting the boy deer grow up to become a big daddy deer… big daddy is something they can relate to all too well as their father is a pretty large guy.

We saw some deer off in the distance a few different times, ate all our snacks, talked about life and told some hunting stories about coyotes, deer, and of course wolves and bears… That time spent in the blind, none of us would trade for anything in the world, but that warm fuzzy feeling wouldnt be able to last too much longer with such young boys filled with that much sugar, couped up in such a small space….

I knew time was running short and finally about 8:15 am a young doe comes trotting straight to us! Literally not 5 minutes after praying a short silent prayer of please Lord bless us with a deer to harvest… I dont usually pray those prayers when I am hunting by myself, but this day I wanted to harvest a deer more than any other day of hunting. We were able to spot her 200 yards out so that gave us just enough time to get situated, ears covered, and in good shooting/observing position.

She stopped 25 yards from us and she dropped right in her tracks. All three of us immediately looked at each other with a moment of silent amazement and then the excitement couldnt be contained when we all fully realized we had just actually harvested our first deer together… we have been watching a few hunting shows and playing pretend hunting in our living room since these boys were old enough to walk, but now this was the real deal.

Harvesting this first deer together is a moment in time that we will never forget. After 15 minutes of waiting and talking about harvesting an animal, it was time for the boys to go down and find her.

They spent a few minutes alone down by the deer looking at her up close and then I came down and taught them how to drag her and we got her cleaned up and snapped a few photos.

Then it was time to go get the truck and load her up and get her processed when Drake would not let us leave the deer. He didnt want any coyotes or anyone else to come and get her while we went to go get the truck. He had two solutions- either we drag the deer all the way to the truck or he would stay and guard the deer. He was worried, but Noah and I finally convinced him to come with us and that we would be right back.

So we made it back to the deer safe and sound, loaded her up and took her to my parents place just a few miles away to get her skinned and processed… We learned that she was eating alot of corn and alfalfa, we examined her heart and liver and packed up all the meat. We saved the loins and roast for some upcoming venison recipes and froze the rest of the meat for grinding later this winter.

By 1 pm we were on the road for home and some Sunday afternoon naps. The boys learned more today on this day of hunting than they could ever learn in a lifetime of schooling. It was a moment that will forever be etched in their minds and will help shape them into not only responsible hunters, but respectful humans. A special moment like this I dont think you can have by playing sports or video games together, a moment like this is something that goes far beyond quality time together.

God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them

      reflecting our nature So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,

      the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself,

      and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”

Right now, our deer population is indeed lower than it has been in the past few years. This doesnt mean we are gonna throw in the towel and stop hunting and stop teaching and stop managing. What this means is that we are going to work harder and harvest smarter so that we can continue to teach our future hunters and help our deer herds prosper. Being good stewards will be a combination of boots on the ground habitat management along with some necessary legislation changes to ensure hunting opportunities for future generations. My motto is that anything and everything can be improved upon, so lets get to work…

At our farms we are harvesting very few deer (much fewer deer than in the past), controlling predators as much as possible, and we are making sure necessary food, cover, and water are available for our animals all year round. Then next year we will improve upon what weve done and so on so forth until we are old  men sitting back in reclining chairs hearing stories of our boys’ boys harvesting their first deer!


Great story.  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by bowhunterdave on November 25

Those little boys is what its all about!!!!That doe is a true trophy in their eyes….Job well done and AWESOME DEER;)

Posted by WhitetailFreak on November 25

Nate, great article.  You could have been writing that about my Friday night hunt with my 9 year old son when he took his very first deer.  It was a hunt I will never forget.  After he shot the deer and it went straight down he settled down a bit and I heard him say in a low voice, “Thank you, God!”.  I was so proud of him words cannot describe.  He will be ready to land some of those awesome fish you grow soon thru the ice!!

Posted by bjthoele on November 25

Great story Nate…that is definitely what it is all about!  Super slow weekend in our neck of the woods but great memories were still made.  I spent Sunday afternoon in a box blind with my dad reminiscing on the last 32 years we have spent together during shotgun season…enjoyed receiving a text from my neighbor with a picture of his young son and the doe that he harvested…looking forward to spending time and making memories with my two young sons in the years to come!  Thank you so much for sharing such a great memory!!!  Nice shootin too!!!

Posted by VITD on November 25

Great story Nate!
Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on November 26

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