A First for Ian

Dave Campbell admits to running a bit behind on his blogs—but he's got a good reason for it.: A First for Ian

I am running a bit behind for my blogs, but, hopefully, you’ll see why in a minute. One of my best friends—Don Shrum—is here to hunt mule deer, and along with him is his stepson Ian Vickers. Don and I go back about 40-plus years, and I’ve known Ian for at least 28 years. Don’s other son, Patrick, has been hunting with us since he was about 6 years old, but Ian never seemed to have a whole lot of interest in hunting while he was a young boy. As Ian grew, he was pretty much a happy-go-lucky kid. Never really bad or a troublemaker, but he kind of lived the life of “the road goes on forever, and the party never ends.” However, a couple of years ago he had a personal epiphany and gave up on the party lifestyle. He settled down and now holds down two jobs while he works on a degree in history.

As part of his maturation he became more aware of the necessity to be self-reliant, so he took an interest in hunting. Don had him out at the range learning the ins and outs of shooting, and Ian—who is a good athlete and very smart—soaked up the knowledge well. He bought a non-resident deer tag for my area in Wyoming, and they arrived last Sunday. I played the old guide trick of getting them out and hiking through some rough country on the first day. While there were beaucoup tracks, they saw no hair. These deer were still pretty nocturnal.

Ian didn’t care about a big buck. Like any first-timer, his main focus was to successfully take a deer. I called a nearby friend, and he had a little area that deer used regularly as the pass from bedding areas to the agricultural land to feed each day. He cautioned us that fewer deer were being seen lately because three grizzly bears had taken up residence there. Nonetheless, about noon yesterday we rolled up and spotted a three-pointer and a forkhorn buck on the adjacent property.

We pulled off the dirt road, and got out. Ian had one of my .270s, and he chambered a round. We walked perhaps 75 yards toward the river and found the bucks in some trees on the public land side. The forkhorn presented a better shot, so Ian got the rifle set up on some shooting sticks and then began dealing with the inevitable buck fever. It seemed to last for several minutes, and I was afraid the bucks would run since they clearly saw us and were getting nervous. In reality he took maybe 20 to 30 seconds for Ian to settle down. His shot was spot on, and the buck made about three leaps before it piled up.

Ian dressed and skinned the buck under Don’s tutelage. As I write this they are finishing up the cutting up and packaging of the meat. There are three very happy men in northwest Wyoming today. One is a new and successful hunter who has performed splendidly, even as two old codgers have been continuously peppering him with advice and lore. The other two are the old codgers. We’re proud as can be.

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3 Responses to A First for Ian

Brenda Valentine wrote:
November 16, 2013

You are a gifted story teller no matter what the plot.

Ron Vining wrote:
November 15, 2013

Hey Dave great story. I love stories of a first deer. I have several stories like this one and you are right us old codgers are as happy as the people that take their first deer!! Thanks for reminding me!

Joe Stewart wrote:
November 14, 2013

Neat story, Dave. I started hunting deer at age 12, 1952, in PA. I got my 1st one in 1967, although I took 2 shots at a buck while I was checking my muskrat traps in 1956. My Polestar kid, Caleb, got a big-bodied 4X4 on my Deaver property Saturday.