What happened when my wife Jess bagged her very first deer?
Everybody experiences their first successful hunt only once. It’s a special, memorable moment that should be cherished for a lifetime.
But what could you do to make sure you cement that first hunt in your mind? I wish someone sat me down and asked me some questions after I harvested my first deer, and I wanted to do that for someone very close to me who went through the emotions and excitement just recently: my wife, Jess.
Jess answers some questions from a female perspective on her first whitetail deer doe harvest.
How did you prepare for your hunt? I watched countless videos, I asked seasoned deer hunters and read my husband’s vintage hunting books. I got comfortable shooting with the vintage Horton EXP crossbow, our game camera, and sitting still in a Rhino Blind. My husband (and this article writer) and I spent more than a few early morning hunts getting an idea of how the deer were moving. Our first evening hunt gave me the chance to bag my deer. I was the shooter and my husband Eric was the spotter.
Below is a game camera picture that we caught of the doe exactly 24 hours before the harvest. It was too dark for pictures at the time of finding the deceased doe before we had it processed.
What was going through your mind at the moment of the shot? I was focused on taking the shot and only the shot and putting that arrow in the right spot. I zoned out everything else around me.
What was the hardest part about taking the shot? Controlling my nerves and my breathing. Seeing that big doe with a smaller doe headed straight for us and peering into the hunting blind was quite exciting. When the big doe lined up for the perfect shot it was time to get meat into the freezer.
What were your feelings after the shot was made? I felt blessed and now we have to get this deer gutted, cooled and to the processor. We got 74 pounds of meat from that doe. I am so excited! We have also had our first meal of the season of venison, and we loved it.
Were you surprised at how the deer reacted to the shot? Yes, I was surprised that the doe went down so quick using Spitfire Broadheads. The doe only went about 40 yards to where we found her. It was a pass through shot that hit the heart and lungs with the arrow found 10 yards away from the shot with no damage. We heard her actually drop about a minute after the shot.
If you could have done anything differently on the hunt, what would you have done? I don’t think that hunt could have gone any better. It showed up right on time from when the game camera had been seeing it. It dropped cleanly and quickly. The Rhino Blind hid us so completely that the sharp eyed deer did not even see me raise the crossbow to fire. That blind is my home away from home while hunting.
Do you have any recommendations to other ladies that might like to try deer hunting? Don’t be afraid, get on your cammies and get out there. There is nothing better than bringing home true organic meat to your family.