It is my wife’s birthday tomorrow and to honor her birthday I want to share a funny story about the first time we hung out. This story starts on top of a mountain during a cold rifle hunt in late October. We had been up to our cabin the night before and got up early in the morning and headed up to our favorite hunting spot. It was a cold morning and it was still dark when we got to our spots and set up. I was up hunting with the Addicted to Hunting Crew (minus Allen who was back at home and Garrett as he joined the family later in life), my Uncle Mark and my cousin Mike. We had set up in our spots for about an hour when the first shot of the morning was heard. There is a certain excitement whenever the first shot rings out on the opener of the rifle hunt. I can’t quite describe the sound of a .30-06 ringing through the woods breaking the silence and signaling the start of a great hunt.

I got really excited when I heard a shot close to where Jason had set up. I waited hoping some deer would come running through where I was, but nothing came through. About a half hour after Jason’s shot a large 2 point came walking into a clearing in front of me about 50 yards down the hill. I pulled my gun up and as I did he took off running down the hill away from me. I put the scope on his head and fired. He dropped instantly and I was full of excitement knowing I had just tagged my first buck. When I walked up to him I suddenly was a little nervous because he was laying on his side and there was not an antler to be seen. Immediately I was worried that I had just shot a doe, maybe I lost the buck and never saw this doe in the clearing. When I was close enough I realized what had happened and immediately was relieved. My shot hit him right at the base of his antler, knocking the antler off and killing him instantly. It was not the best shot I have ever had, but it got the job done. The antler that was still attached had 2 large tines, and we were able to find the other side of the rack close by. I dressed my buck and my dad and Jason helped me drag him up to the steep hill that we love to hunt on.

About a half hour after my shot we heard another shot where Shane had set up. He tagged his first deer as well that day taking a rather small 2 point. Instead of taking his deer up to the top of the ridge like we did for mine, we decided to take it to the bottom and drive a car around to pick it up. Now, I had a school dance that night so i knew I would not be able to stay up hunting the whole day. Shane wanted to get down as quick as he could to start cutting up the deer. Since I knew I had to be home early I drove my Chevy Spectrum up to the ridge. The Spectrum was all I could afford in High chool and it was a little 2 door hatchback, that had a cool horn that played over 20 different songs. We crammed my deer into the back of the Spectrum and my dad jumped in and headed to the bottom of the ridge to meet us with Shane’s deer. Shane and I grabbed his deer and started making our way down. When we got to the bottom we could hear my dad playing the songs on my horn and we were able to locate him. Somehow we crammed the second deer into the hatchback and Shane and I were on our way. You can read what Shane wrote about the trip back home here.

We got home about an hour before my date so i helped Shane unload the deer and I went in to get ready for the dance. It was a girl’s pref dance and I was asked by a girl that had always been a good friend of mine. I contemplated saying no because I knew it was the opener of the deer hunt, but my mom encouraged me to go and I am glad I did looking back. My date picked me up and my mom took a few pictures of us. Of course my idea to take a few pictures of me and my date next to my deer was shot down.

This is where my wife comes into the equation. My wife, Brandi, had drove her friend to pick me up for the date. Brandi had not yet picked up her date so she was sitting alone out in the car. I kind of knew Brandi, but we had never hung out before. As she was sitting there innocently waiting for my mom to finish taking the pictures, my brother drug his deer right across the driveway and into the garage where he would be cutting it up. Brandi had never seen a dead deer like this before. Her dad is a hunter, but he always takes the deer to a processor to cut it up for him. I am sure in her mind she saw my brother dragging Bambi across the driveway and it was looking at her, almost pleading for help. She still tells me that she has nightmares about that incident. When my date and I returned to the car it looked as if Brandi had seen a ghost, I had a good laugh about it then and I still laugh about it today.

Happy Birthday Brandi! Who would have thought your future Brother-in-Law would be the Bambi killer that you despised that October afternoon? Thanks for putting up with me and my family and our Addiction to Hunting!

I also must thank my Mom and Shane for cutting up my deer while I was at the dance. I fully expected it to be hanging in the garage when i got home waiting for me to cut it up. I am not sure I would have been able to stay up all night and cut up a deer after a whirlwind day like that!

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  1. Ha! Good stuff – and happy birthday to your wife. That’s a pretty comical story – I hope you had permission from the little lady to relay it to the world! 🙂

  2. This just show’s how far I have come in the hunting world my husband lives in! The first time I went to his house I saw “Poor Bambi” and was shocked. Now I have eaten deer, shot a gun, and I am eight and a half months pregnant with my first son who will be named “Hunter”! I must really love you Trav!

  3. That is a great story and happy birthday to the wife. I agree that she must really love you to stick around after the first encounter.:)

  4. Brandi,

    I do apologize for the vision you beheld. It probably didn’t help that I had just sprayed out it’s insides with the garden hose and as I was dragging it across the driveway it was pouring out bloody water towards your vehicle. Consider it an initiation.


    You are a dirty rotten, no good, extortionist. I love how you have stretched the time of my shot to being a half hour after yours and how you point out the small nature of the antlers my poor buck had. Also how you failed to mention that you didn’t tell me that the second we got down the mountain you were bailing to a dance and dumping your deer on me…well anyhow it was all good and just think Brandi passed the test!!! You put her to the test before you even dated her and she still chose to date you and then get married. A lot of guys kinda keep the hunting thing a little quiet…you know like casually mention it after you get married and then spring the news on her a week before the opener that you will be gone for 5-10 days…depending. It Gives her some good alone time to let it settle in.

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