By Jayme Campbell
-- As deer season approached in 2007, I was reminded of Nov. 11, 2006. That was the day I shot my first deer. Shooting your first deer should be an exciting event and mine definitely was; just not in the way you might think.
Let me set the scene for you.
First of all, I grew up in a family of hunters. My dad probably owns every piece of camo and every hunting apparatus known to man. I have gone on many hunting trips with my dad, but I was never the shooter. This all changed on that cool, crisp November morning.
We drove to our spot and hiked into the woods to our stand. What a perfect morning! It was my dad, my 7-year-old son and me. This was my son's second time to go on a hunting trip with Grandpa. He was excited and assured me that I would get a deer since he had prayed about it. We all got settled in - well, as settled as a 7-year-old can be.
It wasn't long before the sun started peaking through the tree branches. I heard leaves rustling from the squirrels coming out for the day and dogs barking off in the distance. There was a gunshot report several ridges over, and I hoped whoever took the shot was lucky. Then, I heard leaves rustling again, but it was a much bigger rustle than the squirrels had been making. I motioned to my dad that I heard something.
At 8 a.m., a buck walked up the hollow and into view. Dad said, "It's legal! Shoot it!" As soon as the deer materialized, and I was sure it was legal, I took a deep breath and shot. "BAM!" The deer dropped where it stood.
How awesome! I was so excited! I said "I really got it!" My dad just chuckled. My son was glad I got one so he could get out of the cold. We radioed my brother who was hunting not far from us to let him know I downed a buck.
I climbed down to see my trophy. I was shaking so badly I could hardly walk. When I got to the buck, I counted 7 points. I couldn't believe it. My dad and my son came over, and as soon as they got there the radio sounded. It was my brother. He had fallen out of his tree. We took off running up and down the hills until we arrived on the scene. He looked dead to me. He was lying on the ground not moving. I wanted to call 911, but Dad wanted to pray before we did anything. We all knelt down right there on the forest floor and prayed together.
Within moments my brother started talking to us and was able to sit up. The branch he had stepped on to climb down had snapped from under his foot, and he had dropped 20 feet onto his back. Dad went for the cart we were going to use to carry the deer so we could use it on my brother. While dad was gone, I continued to pray. I just knew God had to heal him and that he couldn't be paralyzed or have internal bleeding.
By the time Dad got back, my brother was able to stand up. He caught his breath and he and Dad walked out of the woods arm in arm all the way to the truck. My mom came and took my brother to the hospital while Dad and I went back for the deer.
The deer seemed so insignificant by that point. When we all returned home later in the day we found that my brother was perfectly fine. I finally got the chance to take a picture with my first buck, and we dined on fresh tenderloin that night.
God is good, and I can't wait to get out there this year!
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