My Wife’s First Deer: A Hunting Partner for Life

Tonia harvest pic

My Wife’s First Deer

My wife has always supported my passion for white-tailed deer hunting, but my hunting career has always been a solo endeavor, and she had never expressed any interest in joining me.

So it came as a shock when, after twenty-six years of marriage, my wife let me know she might be interested in doing some deer hunting during the upcoming fall season.

After checking her temperature and asking if she was kidding, she assured me that she’d been thinking about joining me for a while. It was music to my ears.

Within a few short weeks, we’d purchased a .243 deer rifle and put in several target practice sessions. She did great, and I knew she was ready for the woods, but I wasn’t sure what to expect from the hunt itself.

On Youth and Apprentice Weekend here in Virginia, designed to introduce newcomers to the sport, we took to the woods.


This was far from my average solo hunt. In my Banks hunting blind, my wife filled the space with a bean bag chair, some snacks, and a few more creature comforts. It was all fine by me as long as she was comfortable and out there.

That morning, when we climbed out of the truck to head back into the woods, I paused and thought to myself: This is where the rubber begins to meet the road. Will she enjoy walking into these woods, in the dark, to the stand that’s some 500 yards away?

She was right behind me, never uttering a single complaint. When we got to the midway point, where I usually say a morning prayer, we held hands as I asked the Lord to watch over us that day and gave thanks for the opportunity. That moment is still a blessing in my memory.

We continued and got into the blind well before daylight, and my wife enjoyed the whole journey in. As the light came up and the woods started to come alive, she still was having a great time.

Less than an hour into our sit, I heard her whisper: There’s a buck. I looked over, and sure enough, there was a small four-pointer walking slowly through the brush.


This was another major rubber meets the road moment. I told myself I would not tell her whether she should or shouldn’t shoot the deer. I wanted her to decide and do it all on her own accord.

She became very fidgety and uneasy and couldn’t decide whether she wanted to take the shot or not, reminding me of my first hunt. After a few short moments, she settled. She’d decided: I’m going to do it.

Fortunately, the buck played its role well and gave her a broadside shot at about 50 yards. As I watched her carefully, I noticed the end of the barrel was moving a lot, so I reminded her to take a couple of deep breaths, calm herself down, and squeeze easy.

Not a moment later, the gun went off as the deer dropped. Again, I wondered what her reaction would be, but I didn’t have to wait long. She was immediately overcome with joy, just like most of us hunters are, and I knew now there was just one more hurdle to climb. What was her reaction going to be as she walked up to the animal that she just harvested?

She approached the deer swiftly, poked it with the gun to ensure it was expired, and then was elated and as happy as she could be.

I knew at that very moment I had just gained a brand-new hunting partner for life. It is a special moment that we will always cherish!

This hunting story comes to us from our Whitetail Properties Land Specialist Jeff Phillips, who serves rural landowners and buyers in Southwestern Virginia. If you are looking to share in the experience of white-tailed deer hunting in the Virginia forest, your local Land Specialist can connect you to hunting land for sale in Virginia.

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