Most people who live below the Mason Dixon Line have been on a deer hunt at least once in their life. It is a way of life for a lot of people, and is a right-of-passage in my family. The first buck that I killed was a very special moment my life. It proved to my father that I was ready to hunt on my own, and proved to myself that I was turning into a man. I began to do my part and help provide for my family.

Deer hunting is something that I thoroughly enjoy. I love spending crisp January mornings in the deer stand waiting on a monster buck to step into my sights. But the first buck I killed will never be topped. It was my last youth hunt ever because the next season I would be sixteen. Once you turn sixteen you are considered an adult hunter by the state. I can remember that morning ever clearly. It was early November and gun season had just opened up for youth. That day was a clear fall day, no wind, perfect weather for deer movement. My dad put me up in a big box stand overlooking a cut soybean field. A soybean field is a really good spot to try and bag a deer. They love to come and feed on the beans dropped by the combine tractor.

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I did not sleep any the night before the hunt. I am always too excited to do anything but wonder about what the next day might hold in store. I can remember laying in my bed praying that I would get a chance to kill my first buck. At this point in my hunting career I had killed plenty of does, but never a buck. I had passed up on a bunch of young small bucks because we wanted them to grow. As fate would have it my luck was about to change. I was making my way to the box stand on the cool November morning in the black darkness. I knew the way well because I had hunted this stand plenty of times before. My back was weighed down with my pack and gun. I was carrying extra clothes and snacks in case I became hungry or cold. Needless to say I came prepared to hunt from dawn till dusk.

As I made my way to the…

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