By: Paul Murray
Sitting in my treestand for the first hunt of the season, my mind drifted back through my 30 years of hunting to the time when we got our first deer. I could not help but smile as I glanced up the ridge to the South West of my stand position. Sitting there remembering the excitement, the happiness and the feeling of true accomplishment of the day that unfolded on that comfortable fall afternoon about 200 yards from where my treestand is located.
When I was 12 years old and my brother Scott was 10 we went on our first deer hunt with our father. We did not hunt on opening day, because the weather was forecasted to be miserable and dad didn’t want us to miss a full day of school. So we would have to wait until the first weekend of the season, as our shotgun season opened on Monday’s back then. That week was one of the longest I can ever remember. Finally it was Friday, we got out of school early that day and we headed to our families property in the South West Corner of New York State.
As soon as we got there, we got dressed and headed to the woods. We had spent so much time growing up in these woods, yet they seemed so different on this day, almost as if there was an actual purpose to being there. We only had about two and a half hours of daylight to hunt.
After we marched single file through the meadow in knee deep snow to the woods edge, dad stopped and looked at us and told us two things. First off, where we were headed, and secondly “When I stop, you stop!” That went in one ear and out the other for both of us.
We only had to walk another couple hundred yards to where we were hunting for the evening. We sat there for an hour when Dad looked at the two of us shivering with our noses running and said “Let’s move down the trail about one hundred yards, I know a good place to sit.” As soon as I jumped to my feet, about 100 yards down through the woods on the deer run we were hunting, I saw something move and did a double take.