Jim's Outdoor Blog

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This Young Lady is a Successful Hunter and Author


My First Deer, written by McKenzie Badley-Mann

The morning of the hunt I woke up at 6:00 am.  It was mid-November in 2006 and I was going to try to shoot my first deer.  It was a typical fall morning in the Northwest, cloudy and cold.  Excited about the hunt, I quickly tumbled out of bed and put on my hunting clothes.  I wore long johns, camo pants and long-sleeved shirt, and wool socks.  I was not very hungry, but I ate a small breakfast anyway.  All I could think about was the big kill! On the way out the door I grabbed my Marlin 30-30 and my dad and I started out for a hike around our property and surrounding foothills.

After several hours of seeing nothing we headed back home for a bathroom break and to warm up.  It had been a long cold morning and I was worn out from walking the rough terrain.  Not only was I tired; I was disappointed we had not seen any sign of deer.  I was beginning to wonder if I would actually get the chance to shoot one. As the day passed by I was almost ready to give up when my dad suggested trying a new spot.  He was confident we would find a deer and asked if I wanted to go.  My first thought was to call it a day, but then I thought, “What if there was a deer?”  I was not ready to pass up the opportunity so we climbed in my dad’s pickup truck and headed toward a hunting spot 45 minutes away.

Shortly after arriving at the new area my dad spotted a young deer feeding deep in the woods. All of the sudden I saw him, a buck! I was so excited, and I could tell my dad was too. I quietly walked toward the deer to get a better view.  I lifted the barrel of my gun, put my eye to the scope and…nothing.  I was so anxious I could not find the deer!  I started to panic.  I was so frustrated, almost in tears. 

As I lowered my gun to try to find the deer again it was too late.  As I watched him walk away I was devastated.  I felt I had lost my only chance to kill my first deer.  But my luck changed again.  My dad was pointing into the trees where the deer had stopped.  I felt my heart start to pound and I knew I was not going to let him get away a second time.  Dad and I stalked the deer into the woods where I set up a shot at 30 yards.  I took a deep breath, lifted my gun, pulled the hammer back and found the deer in my scope.  I was set to take the shot.  I put my finger on the trigger, and without thinking, I shot it!   I looked up from my scope and the deer was still standing.  I looked at my dad and then back at that deer as it dropped to the ground right where it was standing. I yelled to my dad, “I got it!  I got it!  I shot my first deer!”

We waited a few minutes before approaching the deer. We wanted to make sure it was really dead.  After what seemed like an eternity we headed down the hill to examine the deer. As I got closer to it my heart raced. I couldn’t wait to see what I had shot. It was a spike.  Daddy pulled out his knife and gutted the deer while I assisted. We packed it out and headed home.

I got home and couldn’t wait to show everyone what I had accomplished! Now when we eat tacos I know that we are eating my deer that I provided for the family. The deer’s hide now lays in my family room and whenever I see it I think back to the day I shot my first deer.


March 29, 2008 - Posted by | Deer, Elk, Antelope, Big Horns and Such


  1. Mckenzie,

    Congratulations on a great deer hunt and a superb article. Don’t be afraid to write additional stories about your hunts, your dad’s, your Uncle Shay’s adventures, or any outdoor activity. You did a fine job.

    Jim Gaskins

    Comment by jimgaskins | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  2. McKenzie,

    This is and will remain one of my most memorable hunting experiences ever.


    Comment by Billy Mann | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. Way to go McKenzie! With your dad and your uncle by your side you are definitely headed in the direction of a great hunter!

    Comment by Wil | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  4. McKenzie, What a wonderfully written recap of your first
    deer. Well done! I know his won’t be your last nor will
    this be your last article.

    I have the pictures you sent out to the family on my
    computer. Neat!!

    Aunt Phyllis

    Comment by Aunt Phyllis | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  5. McKenzie, Very good account of that day you got your first deer. I have always been proud of you, and how you conduct yourself in all the things that you are involved with.
    I’m sure that if you continue in this sport you will do very well.
    It is good to see how a young person can value this kind of activity and maybe pass on to your children the same values.
    I know how proud your dad is.

    Grandpa Mike

    Comment by Gandpa Mike | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  6. kenz, that was an awesome article!!!!! you should be proud!!!!!


    Comment by nat bat | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  7. Good job Kenzie!I like your article and your pictures. I

    Comment by Kim | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  8. Good job, McKenzie,

    I appreciate your attitude about providing for your family and for a job well done. It is a great memory for you and for you with your dad.

    You are blest.
    Love you, Aunt Robyn

    Comment by Aunt Robyn | March 29, 2008 | Reply

  9. I will not forget that day..I was at the coast, coming out of the “Christmas shop.” My phone rang, answering it, I heard “I got my deer”. The excitement in your voice, I will always remember. I am so proud of you in all you do. You are a great hunter, a fantastic dancer, good student, beautiful daughter, wonderful grandaughter, best sister, and joy to all that know you.
    I love you,
    Grandma Lori

    Comment by Grandma Lori | April 1, 2008 | Reply

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