Deer Hunting Archives | Prima Outdoor
Aim to Connect

Aim to Connect

By: Jackie Bartz I’ve made a career of telling stories but they are always other people’s stories. As a journalist I’ve shared thousands of people’s stories but my name is always in the byline, never in the text. A good storyteller connects the audience with the character and in this story I am both. I’m a writer and a hunter, and I always aim to connect. I vividly remember the first time I connected in the field. I was 15-years-old and had completed my hunter safety course that year (I was the only teenage girl in a room of adolescent boys). One afternoon my dad picked me up from school and we headed out to hunt. Just before dusk, we spotted a pair of mule deer. Slowly and as quietly as I muster in my jeans, we put my first stalk on an animal. We snuck into range and my dad laid on the cold ground for me to rest my gun across his back. Seconds led to minutes, quite a few minutes in fact, my poor dad about suffocated trying to hold his breath before I took a shot, but I connected. That connection changed my life; it’s what fuels my passion today. The excitement of harvesting my first animal is a feeling I will never forget but what I remember most is the smile on my dad’s face, the hug and the lifelong connection it forged between a father and his camo-clad daughter. Throughout high school and college, I chased elk, deer and antelope with my dad. I never took any trophies but every single one was...
A Shot Missed, A Lesson Learned

A Shot Missed, A Lesson Learned

Although some women have been hunting their entire lives, I was a bit of a late bloomer in realizing just how great the sport can be. I often look back and regret the nights I stayed out too late, the mornings I slept in too long and the opportunities I didn’t take while I was growing up back home with my parents. My dad is an avid bow hunter and has been for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house decorated with mounts of massive elk, beautifully colored waterfowl, bighorn sheep, and most impressively, a number of trophy whitetail bucks. Despite being raised in an environment where most lived and breathed for opening day, I never understood the thrill of it. There wasn’t a single inkling of me that wanted to wake up early, sit in the cold and possibly not reap the benefits of the hard work I had put in. I was 20-years-old when my dad gave me my first bow. The bow itself was nothing special, it was a six-year-old Hoyt hand-me-down but it was all it took to change my mind about this great sport that we all know and love. When my 10-year-old niece Rhian first became interested in hunting, I was eager to share my love of the sport with her. The excitement I got when helping Rhian learn about hunting is unparalleled. Like I said, I had a very late start in the outdoors and as difficult as it is for me to admit, I am jealous of my niece. Rhian had many people in her life...