Your first. The one you will never forget. The one you learned about everything. The one you talk about the rest of your life. The one that is responsible for your addition.
Crystal's first deer hunt took place during the second half of the Minnesota firearms deer season. A five day hunt and I was her guide. She was excited for the experience and I was excited to show her what makes me tick. She will finally see what this whitetail obsession is all about.
Wouldn't you know it, a half hour into the first morning a doe and four fawns pass within 40 yards of our stand. She decided to pass on Ole Mamma Slick. As the opportunity slowly walked away, I was almost in tears because of her decision. None the less, it was her hunt and it was hers for deciding. I respect her reasoning. She told me she didn't want to sit for 10 minutes, shoot a deer, and proceed on our merry way. She said she wanted to hunt, so that's what we did. We hunted.
Tough weather created tough hunting. After our deer encounter that first morning, sightings became far and few in-between. Although Crystal was unable to punch her very first tag, there was something to be gained. I think a deer hunt, especially one in extreme conditions, really surprises people in what it teaches them. You don't just learn about deer and their behaviors, you also learn about yourself.
She learned how determined she can be. She learned what it's like to sit in single digits temps for hours with frozen eyelashes. She learned motivation getting up long before daylight day after day. She learned how uncomfortable sitting motionless and silent for hours really can be. She learned that persistence is a key factor in success. She learned that playing the wind and having knowledge about your prey is essential. She learned she is stronger than she thought. She learned why the whitetail deer is a creature that demands respect. She learned of the addition.
Battling a rather nasty cold and braving the extreme elements, she always pressed on. I am very proud of my new deer hunter. We both learned something about ourselves and each other. Crystal and I both, will not soon forget our first deer hunt together. Old memories will motivate new memories. As long as we keep the great wilderness in our hearts, we will always be rich. Who would have thought a deer could do all that?