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Hunting through the eyes of a first-timer

For my first column I tried to cover the rules and regulations that any first time hunter, or any hunter for that matter, should follow. In this column I would like to tell you about the first hunting experiences I had when I shot my first buck and my first cow elk.

When I was 11, my dad got me my first rifle, a Remington 7mm Short Action Ultra Mag, for Christmas. I was so excited when I got it. Soon after, my dad helped me sight it in so that I could use it to practice with and go hunting. After I took hunter safety, I was ready to go hunting.

That fall, we went out before and after school looking for deer. As it got closer to the end of the season we were out hunting before school and we came up on a buck that didn’t have a totally awesome rack, but I thought that it looked really cool, so I decided to take him. Not having a rest, I took the shot off-hand standing and dropped him in his tracks instantly. It was awesome!!!

I recommend getting into a prone kneeling position for a better rest. I was so excited and my dad was really excited. After I shot the buck, my dad and I went over to him and dragged him to the truck. My dad took pictures of me with him. I was in my school clothes because we had gone out before school. After my dad had taken the pictures, we loaded him into the car and took off for home. I changed my clothes because they had blood on them and went to school. It was an awesome experience!

My second hunting experience was when I got my first elk last fall right before I turned 13. It was a cow elk, but that was totally fine. I used the same rifle that I used to get my first deer. My dad and I would go out before and after school sitting and sometimes hiking up on the mountain looking for elk. One day before school my dad and I were out hunting. We climbed up onto the railroad grade and sat down on the edge. We waited until some elk came out, and they were all cows. My dad asked me if I wanted to get a cow elk or wait. I told him that I wanted to get a bull elk because that’s what my dad had got. So we let the cows go and we went back to the house and I changed and went to school.

The next morning we went back to the same place and waited for the elk to come out. The elk started across the field and there was still no bull. I was really excited and I wanted to hoot my first elk, so I asked my dad if it was okay for me to shoot one of the cow elk. My dad said “it’s your tag and choice” and he set up my rest and I set up my gun, and put my sights on her. My dad told me to put the cross-hairs right behind her front shoulder and in the middle of her body. I took my first shot—but I missed. The elk started running around but they didn’t leave, so I set everything back up again. They were all walking towards the woods, so I had to take the shot soon or they would be gone. After I set everything up again I put my sight back on the cow that was second from the front, and I had to move my gun with her because she was walking. As soon as I had my gun set up on her just right I took the shot. She took off running towards the woods, but dropped about ten feet before the fence. I was super excited and so was my dad. It was really awesome to get that cow elk.

After 15 to 20 minutes, we walked over to check the elk. My dad told me that my shot was 241 yards and that it was a great shot. My dad and I loaded her into the back of the truck and went to town, so that I could go to my school and give my excuse for why I would be missing school that day, because I was going in with my dad to Angus’s Custom Cuts to get my elk ready. When we got to the school we wrote down why I wasn’t going to be there and some of the people who saw me were probably wondering why I was dressed in all camouflage, and we left. On the way to Angus’s, we stopped by the Hope Athletic Club to show my elk to my Grandma Lynda who was staying there at a condo. She was really proud of me and excited, too. When we got to town we stopped by at Arnie’s Payless Gas and waited for my mom to come from her office so that she could see my cow elk. She was really proud and took pictures. After that we went to Angus’s, unloaded her, and helped Angus’s with my cow elk. It was a super awesome day.

I hope that you enjoyed my stories. I had a lot of fun hunting and it was an awesome way to spend time with my dad.

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Tess Vogel Tess Vogel Tess Vogel is a junior high student at Clark Fork Jr/Sr High School

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