Photo: For Angela Longenette, it started with a television program which led to a Hunter Safety Class and ended with her first deer.
Fall 2022--I was downstairs watching the Alaskan Bush People with my dad. Of all the shows there were, this one was different because the father was with his daughter teaching her how to shoot a deer and she got one. When I looked at my dad, he said, “You wanna do that?” I said yes, yes I did.
My dad said, “OK, but you have to take your hunter safety course.” I didn’t know what that was so my dad explained it. “It’s a class that you to take in order to get your (hunting) license. If you get an 85% or better you can get your license.” I was very curious and kept asking questions about it until I understood. So, of course, my dad signed me up.
About a month later I went to my Hunter Safety Course. We were the first ones there and I sat at the front table. The hunter instructor always would talk to me and joke around. The class was a great experience and a tiring one. The hunter safety course was about six hours long, and we got home around 9:30 p.m., but we still had another day. I was feeling pretty good about the 100 questions test the next day.
The next morning, I had to wake up at 5 a.m. for another long class. While we were eating lunch, we watched videos of how to gut different animals. After lunch we had some more class, a 5-minute break, then some review. I did the best out of everybody! We had another 5-minute break before the test began. My instructor said if you pass, we will tell you all the things you will need to know. I PASSED! My family was super happy for me, and I got a 95% on the test.
My instructor said when you get your first deer, boys have to take a bite of the heart and take a picture of that.
Then he looked at me and said, “Girls don’t have to do that. Take a picture with deer blood smeared on your face.”
I knew I was going to do that and when I looked at my dad, I knew he was thinking the same thing.
My dad has friend named Jimmy who lets my dad hunt on his property and he let me get my first deer there. But first we had to set up so we drove almost three hours to get there. We got the perfect spot and fixed the blind, and the corn feeder and the heater, and the chairs. Then we were all set. In two weeks it would be youth season for two days.
I was anxious for the whole two weeks but finally, it was time to hunt. I woke up at 3 in the morning to get on road. I fell asleep before we stopped to get fast-food breakfast before we went to the set up. I had layers on to keep me warm because it was 15 degrees.
Many hours later, after seeing many deer, my dad said, very quietly, “There is a deer, shoot it! Quick!”
I got very nervous and boom! I missed. My dad didn’t know that though. “Let’s go see,” he said, but I said I’d missed. “How do you know?” he asked. I told him because the doe ran.
My dad said, “They all do that even when you get them.” I said OK, but I knew I missed.
We searched and we saw the deer running. I was very upset but Dad said, “It’s OK, we still have tomorrow, don’t be upset.” A few hours later we went to a hotel then went back and tried again, but still nothing.
That night, we went to the hotel, ate Taco Bell for dinner and went to bed. We woke up at 3 a.m. again and went back to our setup. A couple of hours later, there was a huge group of deer standing in front of us. There was this one big doe. I was getting ready to shoot when she looked at me. I thought I was busted but that did not stop me from shooting! She ran off, stood for a while then died.
My dad was there watching while I was shaking. My dad looked at me and nodded. I have never been more relieved. I went out there and put blood on my face and sent it to my instructor. I was so cold I had to go back to the blind to warm up.
He eventually responded and said he was very proud of me and framed the picture. I texted my family and they were all so happy. My dad gutted it and sent texts to his friends. They were all so happy, too. Now, YOU can tell YOUR deer hunting story.