posted on June 20, 2011 08:18
Sixteen-year-old Hanna Harris of Danville, Pa., would’ve been positively gleeful if she’d shot the 6-pointer that passed by her deer stand around 7:00 on the morning of Pennsylvania’s 2010 rifle opener.
The young buck was hers for the taking, too, but she watched it and a couple of other deer melt back into the trees without firing a shot. So wracked with buck fever, her jumpy synapses were arcing like downed power lines, and her trigger finger just didn’t get the juice.
That was Hanna’s first time to hunt unaccompanied. She was in her mother’s elevated stand on the family’s 280 acres, alone, though many other Harrises and some friends were loaded for deer elsewhere on the farm.
While trying to understand how or why she’d frozen, she saw more deer coming: two does and, farther out, a buck.
Determined not to make the same mistake twice, Hanna wasted no time in planting a knee against the stand’s rail so she would be steadier if she got a chance to shoot.
“When this buck stopped behind a double tree, I could see its rack on both sides of the trunks. I knew it was big,” she said.
When it stepped fully into view and stopped, she squeezed the trigger. Not long afterward, her father and brother arrived to track the deer, which took all of 10 minutes.
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