FNG from Western WA, my first deer


Mar 28, 2017
South Lake, WA
Hello all,

FNG from just south of Seattle. I really like this site, I have learned a lot already and hope to learn about and discuss various topics. I'm just over 40 and have only hunted (with any passion) the last 4 years. Kinda late, I know, but my dad was never really a hunter and I just wasn't into it for some reason (city kid). The last 4 years I would describe as a smorgasbord of emotions. I started hunting with my high school buddies that have been hunting pretty much their whole lives, and I felt a little stupid at first. I was asking a lot of questions, and going online, reading magazines, etc, but I didn't really know anything.

The first year I was hunting, I don't even think I saw but 2 does. This was mainly road hunting (my buddies hunting style) and I didn't really like it.

The next year we went to a different spot that had a better harvest ratio (like I said, I did a lot of online "hunting" on the internet). We saw one shooter on the opening day, but then all does for the rest of the modern firearm season. This was more "actual" hunting, but we walked like 9 miles that day and then the winds picked up to like 50 mph and we couldn't hunt the rest of the weekend.

The 3rd year we went to yet another area, and this time we hiked into a pretty good area that didn't have a lot of people we found out. We saw a couple of bucks and lots of does. I loved the area and felt good about it. I had one buck in my sights, but didn't pull the trigger because I could not tell how big his eye guard was (don't forget your binoculars!).

Last year was my 4th year hunting and I had done everything that I could possibly do in the off season. I handloaded rounds, scoured the internet, had all the "right" gear, ate, slept and drank deer hunting. We went back to the same spot as the year before and hiked into our areas. I felt good. The first weekend didn't produce anything for me, but my buddy took a shot and missed at a good sized buck. Oh well, we still had the next weekend.

The last weekend of last years modern firearm season we were back out there doing what we do. Sat morning, I took a walk from our normal sweet spot and about 10 min later heard my buddy shoot (then 3 more times). I made my way back at a pretty good clip and could hear him hootin' and hollerin'. My emotions were mixed. I was super happy for him to get a deer, after all we had been at it for 4 years and had not had any luck (it was a nice 5x4). But I was pissed that I moved from the spot and didn't get a chance to shoot it myself. I started 2nd guessing everything I had done in my short time hunting. I was doing everything I could do to put myself in the position to be successful. I just needed the shot. Just give me a shot at one man, one shot! Christ, I hadn't shot my gun at anything other than a target for 4 years!!

The next day I went back out and was pretty depressed. I set up shop at the sweet spot and was going over every possible scenario in my head, wondering where I was going to do the late hunt next month. I tried to stay calm and relax. My buddy (different guy) just told me to make a fire and hang out, see what happens, he took of down a logging road to hunt another area. About 5 min later I heard some noise and looked up to see a legal buck about 60 yards away. I couldn't believe it! This was in the same area that my buddy shot the deer the day before. I gathered my composure and went over the mental checklist in my head. BOOM! That sucker jumped and took off across the flat about 40 yards and uphill into the wooded area. I thought to myself, great I missed. I didn't really know what to do at that point because I had never even shot at a deer before, so I calmed down and started to look for a blood trail about 10 min later. I didn't see anything at first, but then I saw a little blood on some ground cover, then a bit more, then a bit more, then a LOT more, and I started getting all jittery again. I finally saw the deer expired just inside the wooded area up the hill. I SHOT MY FIRST DEER! FINALLY! It was a nice 5x4. My buddy came back and helped me get it down to a flat. I learned that shooting a deer is the easy part, the harvesting afterwards is where all the work is. But I didn't care. I was ecstatic!

I am pretty much a hunter for life and I wish I had taken it up much sooner in life. I have joined this site, because the people on here seem genuine in what they say, and I like that. I'm trying to do some backpack hunting this year, some 3-5 day trips, and this site is awesome for that info.

Sorry for the long post but I like to write and hunting is now a passion of mine :D

Thanks for reading!


Senior Member
Jan 26, 2016
Welcome to the addiction. Thanks for sharing your story.
Lots of great info here. Join in the conversation.



Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 20, 2013
Eastern Utah
Welcome vistamatt loved your story hard work will always eventually pay off

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Mar 2, 2017
Good story and congrats on your first buck, it's tough to do here on the wet side of the mountains.

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