The Shot

To some, hunting is a sport. To others, it’s a solace.


Photo: National Geographic

The first day of deer season was upon us, and it was looking to be a great one.

It was a cold, dreary November day, perfect for hunting. My father found a great spot deep in the woods where he was able to get many deer. However, when he came to the spot that morning he was not the first one there. It was one of his friends and he decided to just let him stay there and he would go to a different spot a couple hundred yards away.

The man was going through a rough time, his son was just in a bad motorcycle accident, and his nephew had just recently passed away. In fact, he was using one of his nephew’s hunting guns for it. Going hunting at that point was an escape from the horrors and depression of reality, just a few hours where he gets to take his mind off the world around him.

Then, he saw something. It was one of the biggest deer he’d ever seen and it was right within his sight. At that moment, perhaps nothing else mattered or maybe he had someone looking after him from above. Regardless, it was a perfect shot. He got an 8 point buck, and some redemption after everything he went through.

Although the problems weren’t fixed, he found hope and solace, if only for that day.

After he brought the deer to his truck, me and my father would be going to the same spot that afternoon.

I was excited but not particularly optimistic, the last time I went hunting was 4 years ago and the one time I saw a deer, it was at a perfect place to shoot. I got what is called “buck fever” where I was shaking badly and wasn’t close to making the shot. This time, I was listening to calming music to make sure it doesn’t happen again, but it was doubtful to see a deer again that day after someone else got one in the area.

However, as the sun was slowly setting my father tapped me on the shoulder and told me to look. There wasn’t just A deer, there were 2 of them. At first, he shot but missed. Then, I looked through the scope, and as calmly as I could aimed and fired. It was far from a perfect shot but it did the job, and after dragging it up to my father’s Jeep via sled, I only then realized what I actually did.

Although the Buck was not very big, I was still extremely excited and all of this felt like a storybook scenario.

To most, hunting doesn’t mean much. But to some, it can mean the world to you in the moment.