Kim’s Story: Right of Passage
There are so many things that are running through my mind… I really don’t know where to begin. Most people might not think that shooting a deer can be life changing… but for me it is. There is something sacred and far deeper about it than I ever really imagined. So here is my story.
Yesterday was opening day of the deer gun season. I was excited to be part of the hunt yet apprehensive because since going through hunter’s safety 2 years ago with my daughter Jasmine; I had yet to see a shooter much less get a shot in. My first year, I got nothing, but Jasmine got her first deer on the first day/first morning of the youth hunt. Last year I was with a group that was driving deer and I had one jump out but I was unsure of the shot as there were people in the vicinity of the shot so I did not squeeze the trigger. Well yesterday my luck changed.
We went out in the cold, cold morning. When we arrived at our hunting location it was still dark and just a hint of light was starting to appear on the horizon. When we got out of the truck my daughter noticed silhouettes of 3 deer just over the ridge about 40 yards away. The must have been pushed out by other hunters in the vicinity. Then they bolted… and ran right across the road not more than 10 feet away from us and into the woods. It was amazing to feel the energy of the animals as they ran. We proceeded to our locations to sit and wait. I saw nothing the rest of the morning and froze but … hey it was still opening day and there were several more days left in the season and I still had the evening hunt. I was grateful for the opportunity to get the blood flowing and warm up. I had said a little prayer to the goddess regarding my desire to get my first deer and immerse myself deeper into the circle of life.
Later that day we went out and I sat on a rock wall with fields on both sides. As I sat there the sun began to fall behind the trees. Two wild turkeys came out of the woods and crossed the field. A few minutes later they came up the hill in the field not more than 15 yards in front of me. I was sitting there so still and they did not even fly away until they were several hundred feet past me. There was also a little mouse going in and out of the rock pile next to me… I thought WOW just to see that makes my day even if I don’t see a deer…my day will still be complete.
Then it happened… I could not have been handed a better gift.
About 5 minutes later I hear crunch, crunch, crunch right behind me. I turned my head slowly and I found myself staring down a deer. Then at that moment something primal took over. What felt like minutes I am sure was only a matter of seconds. I stood up, put the gun up to my shoulder, pulled the hammer back, pushed the safety to fire, aimed and fired. The deer fell right were it stood.
The whole time up until I aimed the gun my eyes were locked on the deer’s eyes. I felt as though something took over my body to allow me to have a successful hunt. I became animal… that deep inner part that so many of us do not connect with… so many of us don’t know where our food comes from. I now understand something profound that words will never convey…My heart was beating wildly. I did it… all by myself. I was elated and profoundly changed.
I am not a graceful person and somehow I got up on the rock wall and in one fluid motion turned and lifted that gun… each step going through my mind until I had fired… There was more to it than shooting an animal. I was now deeply immersed in the sacred circle of life. I felt connected to my ancestors and the earth. This deer will be eaten by my family… I now know that if I have to I can feed my family via the hunt. This is one of the most profound experiences of my life. I understand the unexplainable. You will never fully know how it feels until you experience it. It is a right of passage. I am changed and empowered.
I will never be the same.