I took my first deer tonight. Actually, I should say my first deer while hunting; I killed one with my truck a few years ago. A little background info first. I grew up on what used to be the family dairy farm. My grandfather died before I was born so no one milked, but my uncle has kept a small herd of beef cattle for as long as I can remember. My parents had a horses for years but they're down to one that's just a pet now. My uncle lives on one road and my parents live on another parallel road, their land meets somewhere between the two roads and makes up what used to be the old farm. No one in my family hunted when I was growing up. I tried to hunt but was never successful beyond a little bit of small game. I walked many miles over this property with the 12 gauge I got for Christmas with little meat to show for it. After becoming an adult I tried deer hunting a time or two but didn't make a real effort until year before last. I decided it was time to get serious about it and started looking for help. The first guy I asked acted happy to help but would always say "Yeah, we'll go sometime!" which actually meant, "We'll go... never." The second guy I asked jumped on it. He told me he had a good place and then he called me the next time he went out. He put me in his best stand so I'd be sure to see deer. His place was in a bow only county and I'm not too good with a bow but I learned a lot by being in the woods, watching the deer and listening to my friend. The next year, I told my friend about the family property and asked him if he thought it would be any good for hunting. He got very excited when I showed him the Google satellite picture and couldn't wait to get out there. We went several times, I saw some deer but didn't get one. He got a 12 point and an epic tracking story. This year's season rolled around and we had our first opportunity to hunt the morning of 10/30. I was in my stand and saw a 4 point buck but he was too far away for a sure shot. We left our stands and went to my parent's for lunch and to work on my dad's tractor. We filled our bellies and got the tractor running just in time to head out to the stands again. I saw 6 does, 2 of them fawns just out of spots. They walked around for half an hour giving me perfect shot after perfect shot but I couldn't take any of them - no does with firearms until 10/31. I climbed out of my tree, disappointed but happy I withstood the temptation of cheating the law by a few hours and I'll admit that I was sorely tempted. We didn't get to hunt the morning of 10/31 but were back in the trees for the evening. I was in the same spot, 100 yards from a white oak that was raining acorns, and knew I was going to get something tonight. It seemed like feeding time would never arrive but right about 7:00, the two young deer from last night came out and started running around. I watched them for a few minutes and another deer appeared out of thin air, like they do sometimes. It was the 4 point from yesterday. I waited another minute or two to see if anyone else was coming to the party, until I couldn't wait any longer. He was right under that big oak, quartering away... I aimed and missed clean. How? He didn't run off, he turned broadside and looked at me as if to say "Here, let me make it easier for you." and I took a more carefully aimed shot. With the cloud of self-doubt, 30.06 fireball, and the recoil, I didn't see him disappear. I heard a few deer going through the briars but I couldn't see where he went. Did he drop into the knee deep vegetation? Did I miss again? My money was on missing again. I waited 10 minutes then slowly made my way down the tree and packed up my stand. I moved as slowly as possible to distract myself from the overwhelming desire to go look for that deer. Why does it take 10 minutes to pack this stand when it's time to go home but 3 minutes tonight? I dawdled for 25 minutes until my friend showed up and we went looking for a blood trail. I was pushing into the briars when he called me over, he found blood. I hit the trail and found my deer about 100 feet into the woods. It was a good two-lung shot. We drug him out to the field and I walked out for the truck, which took us back to the house where my friend helped my hoist the deer up and taught me how to skin it. This took a while since he was teaching and I was a newbie but we got it done. With the meat in my grandmother's old orange cooler, we had supper with my parents then headed home. I dropped him off at his place around 11:30. I got home at midnight, checked my daughter and niece's Halloween candy harvest, and got to work on my harvest. It's all in the fridge now, aging for a couple of days. I'm in my late 40's but I finally got my deer from the family farm. We're going back week after next to see what the rut brings out. Maybe I'll have something to add to this thread. Probably not as long-winded. I was just about ready to give up on deer hunting and stick to small game (and the grocery store) but now I'm hooked.