Categorized | Opinion

The Best Hunt Ever

By Josh Gowan

Jameson Gowan is pictured with his first deer, a Mississippi doe.

Jameson Gowan is pictured with his first deer, a Mississippi doe.

There’s no way I can fit all of this in one article, but after 24 hunts in Kentucky and Missouri without getting a shot, we’d conceded defeat, until I got a call from a buddy in Mississippi.
At around 4:30, I saw what looked like a deer way out in the green field. After looking through my binoculars I saw that it was a doe, and got Jameson’s gun up for him. I generally wouldn’t let him take a shot that far, but we’d had a tough season without him ever firing a shot, and he was confident that he was on her. The first squeeze of the trigger resulted in a “click”, as I hadn’t turned the safety off, but after a quick adjustment he was ready again. I made him wait until I could get my binoculars back up and make sure she was broadside, and then gave him the green light.
He was as steady as a military sniper when he squeezed the trigger. Leaning into him I shared the jolt of the rifle and didn’t see the impact, but afterwards the deer appeared to limp across the field. He said he saw her and wanted to shoot again, but by the time I got another bullet into the single-shot .243 she was gone. I assumed that he’d clipped her in the leg by the way she was limping, and began telling him that it was an incredibly long shot and just hitting her was awesome, and that more deer would probably come out.
He was hanging his head, and not just because he didn’t kill his first deer, but because, as he put it, “I don’t want to just injure her and she has to live with a broken foot.” That made me proud and showed me that some of what I’d been telling him in our countless hours in the woods had sunk in. Before I could respond, something caught my eye way down the green field on the side the deer disappeared into. Behind a log on the edge of the woods there was a flurry of white zigzagging around for just a few seconds. We’d both seen it, and I said “Jameson, you may have just killed your first deer!”
I believed that commotion was the last efforts of a dying deer, but at that distance there was no way to know for sure, and after our prior experiences I was still a skeptic and didn’t want him to get his hopes up too high.
I couldn’t see anything with my binoculars, and although waiting may have been a better option, my instincts and gut said that what I saw was exactly what it looked like. I told them to stay put and that I’d ease up on the other side and look with my binoculars. I kept stopping and glassing, but to no avail, and finally reached the other side of the field parallel to the log, and right behind it was a doe, hammer-dead!
220 yards was the final count, and he center-punched her. I don’t know how to describe our excitement or emotions, but I’ll have the video up in a few days and you can see for yourself. I’m wrapping this up with Jameson’s version, and then we’re going to debone and cook some of his deer, letting him enjoy feeding the family for the first time! There’s a lot more to this story than I can fit in this article and you can read the rest on my website, www.joshgowanoutdoors.com!
Per Jameson, entitled “My First Deer” – I was deer hunting with my dad and my papa down in Mississippi. My dad’s friend Brandon let us hunt on his property in the creakiest stand you’ve ever heard. Then around prime time which was around 4:30 for us, a good sized doe came out of the woods. Dad helped me get my gun out the windown, then I aimed the crosshairs on the doe and pulled the trigger, but when I did, the safety was on but luckily the deer didn’t hear it. So my dad turned the safety off, and then I shot the deer.
After that the deer limped across the field and fell behind a dead tree. A few minutes later it went crazy and shook its tail like a mad man. We didn’t know if I killed it. At first we thought I hit it in the leg. So my dad went down to check it out, and he came back and said I GOT IT! It was the best hunt ever!
— What do you think? Send Letters to the Editor to thomas.sellers@journalinc.com.

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