The great hunter gets her first deer

So, it's 5:40 a.m. and everybody was waiting for me. As usual, I couldn't find my socks. My dad yelled at me, "Berit! Hurry up! It's time to go!" I screamed back, "I'm coming! Hold on!" I still couldn't find my stupid socks! I finally found them ...

So, it's 5:40 a.m. and everybody was waiting for me. As usual, I couldn't find my socks. My dad yelled at me, "Berit! Hurry up! It's time to go!" I screamed back, "I'm coming! Hold on!" I still couldn't find my stupid socks! I finally found them as we headed out the door.

Thinking about this memory makes me laugh. Every year during deer hunting season, Scott and Dahlen, Jay and Montana, TJ and Zach, my dad Charlie, my brother Dylan, and I stay up at Rainbow Resort to hunt. In our cabin, we play games like Buck Fever Challenge, (best game ever!) Star Wars Stratego, (May The Force Be With You!) RISK, dominoes, backgammon, cribbage, and some very confusing card games.

On the first day of the hunt this year, we made it out into the great beyond (also known as the woods) at about 7ish. It was a chilly morning. To make it even worse, it was windy. Great.

The day went on and I saw absolutely nothing. I heard on the radio that Zach had shot two does. They were his first deer. At least someone got something. At about 2 o'clock, just as I was getting up to grab my play-doh, I saw a deer running down my deer trail. It was a really bad shot. The deer was running through thick brush. So of course, I missed. Perfect. That just made my day a whole lot better. (I hope you caught the sarcasm in that.)

A half hour after I shot at a deer, I went out to see if I could find any blood or hair. I hate red leaves from now on. Every time I saw one I thought it was blood. No luck. I walked for quite awhile and found nothing. Frustrated and hopeless, I made my way back to my stand. I thought to myself, "Dang! No deer now!" I was mistaken.


The next day when we got up, I decided that I was going to shoot a deer. I had to. At breakfast, Scott told me something very interesting. He said that I might as well put a flower in the barrel of my gun. He said that way deep down I was a girl, and therefore would not shoot a deer.

This made me slightly mad. Yeah, maybe I'm a girl way, way, way deep down. That doesn't mean I won't shoot a deer. So I walked out the door determined to shoot a deer.

Jay, Montana and I walked in together. Well, we drove in together. Jay stayed behind to get his ground blind ready. Montana and I left him at the car, and boy am I glad we did! I broke off from Montana at the trail to my stand.

Right when I got on my stand, I heard something behind me. I slowly turned around. Well what do you know! There was a deer walking down my deer trail. I wondered how this was going to work. Here I am, with no bullets in my gun, my backpack is still on my back, and my bullets are in it.

I tried to remain as silent as possible as I got my bullets out of my backpack and into my gun, which is a very hard thing to do while a deer is staring at you. I have a bolt action gun, so it made noise as I slowly but quickly shoved bullets into it. The deer got spooked and started to walk into the brush. There went my deer -- for the second time this weekend. I loaded the rest of my bullets, just in case the deer came back.

Suddenly, I heard a noise to my right. I looked over, and there was a different deer. The funny thing about this deer is that it was jumping around in a circle -- like frolicking. So I grunted like Jay was trying to get me to do in the car earlier that morning.

It was now 6:42 a.m. and the deer stopped frolicking. It turned and looked in my direction. I was surprised the grunting actually worked. I started freaking out because the deer was running straight at me. I prayed for it to turn sideways, and it did. She stopped and looked around, and I was going to shoot her. I put my finger on the trigger and at that exact moment she moved behind a tree. She did this two more times before I got tired of waiting. I took my chance. BANG!

"Raaaaa!" That's the sound she made on her way down. I stood there shaking. Lafanda, as I named her, tried to get up but didn't succeed. A half hour later, when I went to check on her, I noticed where I shot her. Shoulder shot! Blood was dripping down her fur. I was so excited. This was my first deer, and I'm glad she was because she was a pretty good sized deer.


My dad came over to show me how to gut her, but I did it mostly by myself. We put her under my stand until we were done for the day. I couldn't stop staring at her. I was overwhelmed with excitement.

All week we butchered her in my garage. My mom wouldn't go into the garage because she didn't want to see the dead deer. When Friday came around, we got ready to go back up hunting.

The second weekend is always pretty quiet. Nobody from our group shot anything. My brother saw three and shot once but missed. The only exciting thing all weekend happened to me, and it wasn't the kind of exciting you want. Someone must have thought it would be funny to shoot at me.

I was reading my book and I got cold so I stood up. Suddenly a shot went off. It sounded pretty close to my stand so naturally I looked up. I looked up just in time to see the dead squirrel falling out of the tree next to my stand. I looked frantically around for the shooter, but no orange was in sight. I have no idea where the shooter was or where the shot came from.

Of course I was so scared I stared crying. Wouldn't you if someone shot at you? I huddled up against my tree just in case the shooter decided to shoot again. I kept looking around but I didn't see or hear anything. I just let it go and hoped whoever it was left.

So the lesson here is know your surroundings. If you are a hunter, pay attention to where you are shooting. Please! Make sure you are shooting animals and animals only.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a freshman at Detroit Lakes High School.

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