Mariah stays with it

 I really like writing deer hunting stories. It is even better if the story features a youngster’s first deer.  

And a real plus is when that youngster is a member of my own family.

Last fall my great-niece, Mariah Wagganer, was 17 and a senior at Central R-III High School in Park Hills, Missouri.  

She had been deer hunting a couple of times with her dad, Jackie. They hunt in Madison County on Uncle Larry’s property with cousins Josh and Colton.

Mariah had never had a shot at a deer, much less having killed one.

She and her dad went through all the necessary pre-season steps, including having Mariah site-in the .270 bolt action with which she hunted deer. She even helped cousin Colton work on a ground blind.

The first day of her hunt last November began pretty slowly. As Mariah described the morning, it was obvious that she got a little bored. No, that is wrong. She got really bored.  

Long hours without seeing a deer can be tough on even veteran hunters. It was excruciating for this 17-year-old young lady who was actually making a list of things she could be doing. 

Dad Jackie continued to encourage her to stay with it.

Mariah was extremely grateful when lunchtime came. They returned to the farmhouse where Aunt Barb had laid out a great lunch for all of them.  

During lunch Mariah expressed her desire to call it a day and go home. But no such luck. Her dad had decided they would go to the ground blind for the evening hunt.

Uncle Larry told them there had been a good deer taken from the blind earlier in the week. He had also seen a few deer in that field as the sun set the prior evening. The plan was made.

IMPATIENT. It is just a word but it was all Mariah could think about. They got in the blind about 1:30. Mariah said by 1:45 she was asking to go home.  

According to the young hunter, she asked to leave about every half-hour.
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She would watch the field and then check her phone. She would check her phone and then watch the field. All the while wanting it to be over. 

As she told me this I laughed out loud. I should have videotaped her story instead of writing it.

Through Mariah’s impatience her dad remained calm and tried to keep her interested in the hunt. He told her Uncle Larry saw deer in the field right at sunset, and they needed to stay put. Mariah reluctantly agreed.

At about 4:30 they saw a deer approaching the field. A nice doe walked out into the field and began feeding 30 yards in front of the blind.  

Jackie suggested, since the deer appeared very comfortable, to wait and see if a buck would come out.

Shortly thereafter they saw another deer entering the field. A second doe came out to feed. This deer, however, was very skittish and stayed in the field only a short time.  

A decision had to be made.

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