Saskatchewan youngster thankful deer can’t read
By Jordan Funk
Ever since I was five years old, I’ve enjoyed sitting in the back seat of my dad's truck while he and my grandpa hunted whitetail. Hunting always seemed so special.
Being from Saskatchewan, Canada, I‘ve seen lots of action and a handful of big bucks over the years.
Every year I became more and more excited about going for my own first white-tailed deer.
Finally, after years of waiting and completing a hunter safety course, it was time for me to try for my first deer.
My first few days of hunting were unsuccessful, but both my dad and grandpa got whitetail bucks on November 23, 2012.
The next day, I awoke excited and prepared for the hunt. Dad, Grandpa and I started hunting early in the morning, but saw nothing except for a small 6-pointer.
At about 10 a.m., I had a feeling that we should check a coulee near our house. We’d spotted a nice 8-pointer with a herd there several times, but never got close enough to make a shot.
Immediately upon inspecting the coulee, we chased out group of about 40 deer, which contained ten bucks and the 8-pointer I wanted.
The deer ran northward, so we stopped the truck and walked along a fence to the southeast of where we’d last seen them.
I was very nervous and excited because it looked as if everything was coming together perfectly.
We continued to walk until I spotted the herd again. My eyes immediately locked onto the 8-pointer as if it was under a spotlight, and my heart was racing as we continued to move closer.
Then my heart sank when I noticed the 8-pointer was standing just on the other side of a property line marked with a sign that read “Keep Out!”
If it would just continue to move about 20 yards to the south, it would become fair game. I was glad when it slowly walked in the same direction with the other deer and beyond the trespassing area.
My dad could not see the 8-pointer I was after because he had his eyes on a different buck.
After about a minute, the 8-pointer crossed the property boundary and became fair game.
I took another look through my binoculars and saw it looking up, standing broadside in the morning fog. It was truly an amazing moment that I will remember forever.
Now, my mind and body were totally focused on the deer.
I informed my dad that the deer I was after had crossed onto legal hunting land, but he could not spot it because of the disarray of does and smaller bucks all around it.
Then I remembered my dad saying this exact phrase: "If you're sure . . . shoot."
I lifted my grandpa's .243 up to a fencepost and found the 8-pointer in my scope. It was standing broadside.
I loaded a bullet into the chamber and pulled the bolt down, then I lined up the crosshairs on the center of its body. I squeezed the trigger.
All I remember after that is hearing the ear-piercing bang and then asking my dad, “Did I get him?”
Dad thought I was shooting at a different deer, so he wasn’t sure if the buck had dropped or run away with the rest of the herd.
We ran back to our truck and drove to follow the herd.
In the bottom of a valley, the sight of that familiar 8-point rack sticking up startled me. Instantly, a sensation of relief and joy overcame me.
My dad, grandpa and I approached cautiously, and I looked at my first deer up close. It was the most sensational and fulfilling moment in my life and I will always remember it.
Pulling the trigger for the first time leaves you with a feeling only fathomable if you were in the same place.
I learned so much and had such a good experience spending time with dad and my grandpa.
After looking back on these moments, it makes me look forward to next year’s whitetail season even more!