A Girl and Her First Deer
The sun had yet to rise. Perched inside the deer stand, Kallie sat as quietly as any six-year-old could while she and her father studied the field before them. They strained hoping to catch movement in the tricky shadows before dawn.
Our fishing charter team member, Marcus McDavid, had taken Kallie out on the water for her first venture at the tender age of six months. While no surprise given her father’s occupation as a charter guide, Kallie soon graduated from playing in the live-well to catching her first fish, a 19-inch redfish. Since then, she has frequently accompanied him on many fishing trips. But while Kallie is quite familiar with being outdoors on the water, this was to be her first hunting adventure.
Captain Marcus McDavid, from Saltwater Therapy Custom Charter, with Kallie accompaining him on one of their many fishing trips.
The day before, they had loaded up their gear and headed for the hunting camp in high spirits. Excited at the prospect of her first hunt, Kallie struggled getting to sleep that night.
It was dark when Marcus woke her early the next morning. It was time.
The sun had still not yet begun to rise when they climbed into the deer stand. Both were filled with high hopes as they settled in to wait for the first deer to appear … and waited … and waited. Three hours later, they had still not spotted a single deer when Marcus threw in the towel planning to try again later that day.
After killing time around the camp they grabbed lunch and by mid-afternoon were back in the shooting house. The father-daughter team had been patiently waiting for a half hour when their boredom was broken. Two deer had emerged from the woods into the field before them.
But before Marcus could get Kallie into position to take her shot, the deer quickly vanished back into the woods. The wind had shifted and the deer had caught their scent.
Though somewhat disheartened, Kallie went back to waiting. It wasn’t long before they again spotted motion but it was immediately obvious that it wasn’t deer but a “rafter” of turkeys which had entered the field. Still, Kallie was thrilled and sat watching excitedly, her eyes glued to the ungainly looking birds.
While Kallie’s attention remained focused on the turkeys, Marcus caught movement off to their right. Two more deer had appeared at the edge of the woods.
Though they weren’t really the deer Marcus had hoped for, he thought it best to take the shot before they got “winded” again and the deer bolted. He slipped into position, helped Kallie line up her rifle, and took aim. Slowly she squeezed the trigger and the sound of gun fire shattered the silence.
Kallie was deafened by the explosive sound of the rifle firing. But her shock quickly dissipated with the realization that she had dropped the deer in its tracks.
Her heart was racing as the two hunters climbed from the shooting house. Kallie bolted across the field where she stood in awe at the animal which lay on the ground before her.
Her excitement was matched only by her father’s pride—his daughter had bagged her very first deer with her very first shot on her first day of hunting. I think Kallie is destined to become an avid hunter as well as a pro-fisherman … or … fisherperson, I should say.
ABOVE: Kallie pictured with her first deer
Frank Wilem is CEO of The Wilem Group which produces television shows including Find Your Outdoors (formerly Gulf South Outdoors.) Info on air times and channels may be found on their website at www.findyouroutdoors.org.