Hailey's First Deer Hunt, Part 6 (After the Hunt) - by Jake Hindman

Submitted By Admin Jan .07.2017

After harvesting a wild turkey last spring in our home state of Missouri, my now 7 year old daughter, Hailey, wants to try her hand at deer hunting. This blog series will detail our effort from pre to post-hunt along with a few tips for introducing newcomers to deer hunting.

Fall hunting seasons are starting to wind down. The holidays have come and gone.

A new year has kicked off.  6 months ago, Hailey and I were preparing for fall deer hunting season. We spent time scouting, planting food plots, and shooting her new rifle. It's been over a month since she harvested her first deer and turkey season is right around the corner.

Now is the perfect time to remind your new hunting partner what an awesome time you had during this past season and prepare them for an upcoming season. Here are a few post-hunt tips to keep your newbie excited about this past season and primed for the next one.

• If you harvested an animal:

    a. Consider some kind of taxidermy (I completed a European mount on Hailey’s buck).

    b. Have a meal! This is one of the most rewarding aspects of hunting - procuring your own organic food. There are endless recipes and options for wild game meals. Hailey chose to make some jerky from her deer and she happily gave a package to her uncles and grandpas at Christmas.

    c. Print a first harvest certificate. Many state fish and wildlife agencies make downloadable first harvest certificates available and are a fun way to commemorate the moment.

• Place photos from your hunt in a scrapbook, on the fridge, or on a wall mounted display. I keep outdoor photos on a large corkboard and often refer to them with my kids, particularly when we are eating one of the animals that I may have a harvest photo of. It’s a great way to connect full circle and photos allow for an even greater connection of the memory.

• Brush up on shooting skills on a sunny winter day. Make it fun by shooting at reactive targets.

• Scout for upcoming seasons. Winter is a great time to learn deer travel patterns, especially after a snow.

Hailey's first deer season concluded with a harvest, however, not all hunts need to end with an animal harvested to be successful. Use the time after hunts and post season to remind your budding hunter what a blast you had and how you can't wait to take them on the next hunt.