Your First Big Game Animal


New member
Aug 10, 2002
Dug this photo out of my album. On the back it reads...

1st deer
Nov '92 Age: 16
Loyle (my old neighbor) & Jimmy
Gore, Oklahoma
Female...72 lbs field dressed (1 1/2 yars old)

This hunt took place on the last day of deer season. It was on property neighboring a Nuclear Plant, so there were always jokes made about the animals killed there. I remembered my dad tried all the season before (when I was 15) and all the deer season this particular year to get me on a critter. He did a good job, but for whatever reason I was never successful in killing a deer with him. My neighbor decided to take me out on this particular hunt. It turned out to be more of a whack and stack hunt. I recall between 8 people we took like 10 deer in one day...Pushing/Driving was the name of the game. I shot this doe from 15 yds away with a 12 gauge shotgun. I remember not even having to gut it. The cavity was split clear open and all we had to do was cut the windpipe free.

Anywho, I apologize for the crummy picture...I didn't take it
Actually, I think it is pretty neat how over the years how my hunting opportunities have expanded. I've done alot that I never imagined I would have back then, but it all started with this little whitetail doe.

So, do any of you have an old photo laying around of your FIRST? I know some of you probably don't have a scanner or digital cam to post one, but for those that do and you have the time...upload that memory and share it with us.

I gotta pic of my first fish (a flounder) floating around here somewhere...I'll get that posted sometime too.

Cool Moosie. How about some specifics; age, location, etc. I like the fro, it is really
and I do believe...back in style
I don't have any pics, but my first was a doe whitetail, on my second day of deer hunting! On the opener I had seen 13 deer, but none were in range of the 20ga I was toting. Next day dad dropped my off at my stand in the dark. Pretty spooky for a 5th grader as I kept hearing some growling in a tree behind me!
Once daylight broke, I could see that it was a raccoon in a tree about 10yds behind me. It was standing on a branch and would shake the branch and growl anytime I moved! This lasted for about 5 more minutes before it climbed down and walked off. About an hour later two does came running from behind me. They seemed spooked, but they stopped about 20yds from my stand and looked back the way they had come from. I sighted down on the closest one and let fly. It took off back over a hill out of sight. About 10min later Dad came over to make sure I hadn't shot myself. We found blood and started following the blood-trail. About 70yds from the stand we jumped the doe, but no shot was offered. We continued up into the cow pasture and spotted the deer bedded down next to a fence about 100yds out. Dad told me to shoot and he did as well. Being inexperienced and not understanding trajectories, I aimed about 25' above the deer! Dad's shot hamstrung the deer, allowing us to get up to it. The deer was still alive when we approached and started bawling. It sounded just like a baby crying!! That hurt and I started crying saying, "I didn't want to hurt it just kill it!" About 2min later it died and I had my first big game animal.

To this day, I still remember the feelings of elation and grief that I felt. I hope it never leaves.
I don't think I have any pictures, either, but it was a small wild boar on public land - no small feat in California. My first deer was a forky in Calaveras County's "gold country."
My first big game animal was a small 10" wide 2x2 muley in Idaho in 1999 at the age of 12. I was so proud when I saw that thing drop!! I'll have to find some pictures of it and post them in the next few days.

Cali, do you still come up here?? The deer hunting sucks up here in the 'gold country' now. So many folks moving up here and putting houses on land that you used to be able to hunt. My dad has showed me probably close to 10 spots where he killed bucks when he was younger, now those are either stores or subdivisions.
1st deer-age 12 1984 Idaho Unit 66A. Second day of archery season. I see a deer running towards me. It stops head-on at 5 yards. I draw my 45 pound browning compound and bury a broadhead into the base of its neck. The next thing I remember I was standing over a dead deer. (Dad later tells me I dropped my bow and ran after it yelling "I shot him!") After inspection it turns out to be a fine muley buck........fawn.......with spots. Couldn't have been happier. Pictures are still at my folks' house.

1st elk- Age 12 1984 Idaho unit 59. Opening day of rifle season. Sitting on side hill in the middle of the day thinking "there are no stinking elk around here" playing with my grandpa's Remington 721 30-06. Seeing how many bullets I could mash into the magazine. Picking my nose. Looking through the scope while changing the scope from 2-7 power....throwing rocks, practicing my bugles.... I hear brush breaking and out comes this elk running. It takes just a second to identify the spikes on its head at 125 yards. I brought up the rifle, saw brown and yanked the trigger. The bull hesitates and keeps going. I shoot 4 more times, the elk is stumbling around now. I reload and empty the magazine again. The bull is still on its feet, holding still now, all wide legged like a sawhorse. I reload and shoot a couple more times and he goes down right in the middle of a logging road! I grab the barrel to run down to him and burned my hand.

I tagged the animal and knew my next task was gutting it. I'd seen my Dad do it a half-dozen times and I gutted my 25 pound deer just the prior month and I had a knife! I locked the blade and jumped in!

I hear my Mom yelling for me and I stand up and yell back "I got one!" she starts freaking out and reverts back to german (she's a german)yelling for me while running down the hill. From her point of view she could only see the top half of me and saw me stand up and scream something all covered in blood. She thought I shot myself.

1st shot was a double lunger. The rest of the shots were clean misses. Drove my Dad's GMC right to it and loaded it whole. Pic's are at my folks' house.

At age 12 I had this big game hunting all figured out. Wish I knew as much now as I did then.
This is my first buck taken 28 yrs ago in Plumas County,up Behind Lake Davis in the sierra mountains of California. My dad had been taken me every weekend of the season for about 2 years before I finally got one. Back when there were only 2 tags in Cali a coastal and inland tag. we use to go all over the place and see some great country.I could talk all day about him and what we has done for me and my passion for hunting but another time.We were on a ridge called Grizzly ridge and walking a old logging spur when I seen this little guy standing up in the timber about 50yds up the hill broadside. I had bought a remington mdl 700 bdl with iron sights and a stainless barrel for $150.00 bucks and was still saving up for a scope. At 14yrs old paper route money took a while to save
Anyways I remember it as it was yesterday and me saying Right There! as my dad said wait a minute as he checked for the fork.
Well was I ready to drop the hammer and as soon as he said ok take em I touched of that cannon for a kid and blew both shoulders out with a factory 180 gr reminton core-lokt bullet. Man that was all it took and have been hooked since. But even better was seeing my Dads face and just how proud he was that made it all the better.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ 01-01-2004 09:22: Message edited by: Ridge Runner ]</font>
Those are some great stories guys.


If it makes you feel any better, I balled when I shot my first animal was a limb rat


Get that picture loaded up. What is funny, is I read these guys posts, and I feel so young when I do, but then I read your's and get the feeling I'm not so young anymore. Regardless, I think you and I could agree these other guys are some old bastages, eh?


Great story! 1984 was a heck of a year for you. Do you realize that was 20 years ago?
You tell it like it was yesterday though.

Ridge Runner

Love the story, but I really like that pick. My favorite thus far. Take no offense, but it is almost vintage like
I like looking at old photos. One thing you can't do with webshots is encrypt your photo into the post. You have to post the url. If you want the pic to show up without someone clicking on it, you'll have to find a different host...try

Are there anymore stories out there?
Ovis, No offense taken on the vintage.
Hell at 42 i'm still running circles around guys half my age!
I have signed up for pay pal and just waiting to get some number from them to pay for a membership here. Moosie says I can get a spot in the gallery if I pay the dues plus a couple of free hats
so just waiting for the number. I've been moving all over the world here for the last few years so have pics scattered all over the place and in storage. I'll dig out a few more"vintage" pics for all you young bucks someday
Glad you like it.

Happy trails
My first big game animal was a spike whitetail back New York, in I think 1975. It was a cold morning and a 3 mile hike. I had climbed up a dogwood tree and was sitting on a branch overlooking an area where I have seen deer many a time. I had just finished taking a dump and having a smoke when I saw this spike walking in front of me about 75 yards away. Well let me telll you, that was his first mistake. I raised my Savage pump 12 ga and nailed the bugger. He took off like a bat out of hell heading for the mountain laurel and took a headplant. I was so friggin excited I forgot I was on a branch in a tree and nearly fell out of the tree. Well I went up to see my first deer and was in awe. After dressing it out, I found out the work would begin. We had no rope, but I did find an extension cord in my pocket which I still don't know why it was there. It took us what seemed like forever to drag my trophy the 3 miles to civalization. I have no idea as to where thepictures of that deer are. I continued to hunt that area for many more years and had a nice ground blind in the rocks at the bottom of the laurel. We made a lean to up there for camping and we took several deer out of that little area in the years to come.
My first big game animal was a 130lb black tail doe. I have a pic but not sure how to put it on the site. My dad got the hide tanned for me. I shot her with my Savage .30-.30, it was a 75 yard shot.
Quick Draw
My first big game animal was a muley, killed in 1986 when I was 14. We had a point restriction on muleys back then, 3-pt or better, and all we saw for a week was forkys. My stepdad took me out after school and work on the last day of the season, dropped me off at the bottom of a rocky canyon and said he'd stay there an listen for a shot.
Well, I'd gone about 200 yards up the canyon when I spotted a buck watching me from behind a pinyon at the base of a rimrock on the opposite side. I could tell he was legal, so I raised the old M99 .243 and let one rip. The buck took off hellbent for leather and I let two more wild ones fly. At the third shot the buck went end over end and started slow-motion somersaulting down the hill. Every time I thought he was going to stop he'd roll a couple more times. He finally came to rest after about 50 yards, and I waited for the step-pop to get his ass up the hill. When we got to the buck, he had been hit once, right through the lungs. I figure the first shot must have been the one, 'cause I don't think I was The Rifleman back then.

Here's the great field photo of my first deer. Not the biggest I've killed, but definately the most exciting....


OAK, if you had a HT hat on in that picture, you would be giving TE a run for his money with that picture.
You sure do look mighty happy in the photo. Nice buck.
1 pointer, you think 1984 makes you feel old. I shot my first buck in 1968. My DAD, and brother Jeff and I were hunting in Poe Valley(South of State College, Pa.) We were at stands forming a V with me being at the bottom of the V. About 150 yards from the Dad, and Jeff. At 730 I heard a shot from Jeff's direction. A minute later I heard a shot from Dad's stand. Dad was a true rifleman. He never missed. Since there was only one shot from his spot. I figured it was over with, I took about 2 steps and there stood a nice Y buck. About 50 yards in front of me. He was looking over his shoulder toward Dad. I had an old Springfield 03-A3 30-06 that we were sporterizing. Open sights, I shot that deer 5 times, he wasn't getting away. I didn't have a sling on my gun. So Dad slung his over his shoulder, and carried mine, while I drug my deer. Dad yelled to Jeff to start heading down and we would meet him at the car. We made it about 100 yards, and here come another buck trotting past maybe 50-60 yards away. Dad shouldered my gun, click. He was pretty upset. I shoulda told him. I asked him if he could count, and got slapped in the back of the head.
The first big game animas I ever shot was a Black Tail buck. It was Sepetember, 1964. I was in my friends yard in Los Altos Hills, Calif., working on my bicycle. He and I were going to ride up to a spot I knew and do some deer hunting. He was in the house getting something ready, while I was fixing a flat. I had an old 8mm Mauser leaning up against the wall that I bought from a friend of mine. I heard something behind me and turned to see a 4x4 buck standing about forty feet from me chewing on a plant. The stupid thing just looked at me while I put a shell in the gun. I guess that is the last thing he saw! John came running out of the house to see what happened, and when I showed him the deer, he was all smiles. He really didn't want to ride all the way to my spot.
The first game animal I ever shot was a bobcat. It was about two years earlier, while fishing. I was trying to cath some cat fish, and had gotten bored. I had pulled up some wide blades of grass, and was blowing on them between my thumbs to make kind of a whistle. I had been doing this for about five minutes when I thought I saw somwthing move on my right side. I looked over in the weeds and after about thirty seconds, I saw something looking back at me, and it was hissing! I had an old pellet pistol that I kept with me for snakes, so I grabbed it and shot. I hit this thing in the forhead, and it dropped on the spot. I still didn't know what it was, but I loaded it on the handelbars of my bike and tied it on with fishing line. While leaving the lake where I was fishing, I saw a cop and asked him what it was, and he told me it was a bobcat. I took it home and skinned him, and after it dried, I hung it on the wall in my bedroom. To this day, I have never seen another one.

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