While we were dating, I would go and sit with Bob, my husband-to-be, on a ridge and take my needlepoint with me and watch him hunt. One day, I told him that I could do this and that was the beginning of my hunting experiences at the age of 45. I had never picked up a gun or even shot one until I met him. To get me ready for hunting, he would take me target practicing and I was soon on my way to becoming a hunter. My first deer was a 6 pt. buck while on the stand for only five minutes (photo above). It was opening day and it had been storming pretty bad and we stayed in our suburban until the rain let up. In the meantime the other hunters decided to leave camp and go back home. We went in on our 3-wheeler and Bob took me to my stand and then he walked down from me and had just sat down up against a tree near a creek bed and lit a cigarette. Boon! Was that her? He waited with anticipation trying to figure out should he go and see what had happen, maybe I accidentally shot the gun off, or maybe I hurt myself? He could not stand it anymore so he decided to come and check on me. When he found me I was tracking my deer and had blood all over my face. I told him that everyone had left the camp and I just went ahead initiated my own self…he said, it looked like it had shot me! We found my deer a few feet away and I was on my way to becoming a deer huntress, which opened up a whole new world for me. I had used my step-son’s .243 for the harvest at Jasper Bottom Hunting Club in Claiborne County, MS.
My husband-to-be took these picture of me on my very first deer stand that he had made. It was located in Claiborne County at Jasper Bottom Hunting Club on the Big Black River where he was a member and took me hunting with him. One day, I told him that I can do this...and as they say, the rest is history! My deer stand was located on the backside of the property at the Big Black River. This is where I killed my very first deer, a 6 pt. buck, after being on the stand for only 5 minutes on a rainy opening day. My story to follow...
You can tell that I'm a happy camper sitting on my very first deer stand. I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would ever be a deer hunter. It has been over 25 years now and I have enjoyed every minute of it.
My husband, Bob, and I had been rolling out of bed long before dawn, off and on, for a week. It was the end of Maine's opening week of spring turkey hunting 2006. Bob had already tagged out on a nice Tom two days earlier, which he had called in while I was toiling away at work. Now it was Saturday and it was my turn to go after an Eastern Gobbler of my own.
We thought the birds would be roosted in the tall trees adjacent to one of the fields we frequently hunt. This had been one of those seasons when the turkeys just didn't want to cooperate and roost in the same area two nights in a row.
We set up our decoys in the field and concealed ourselves in a hedgerow along the edge. As dawn approached, the first gobbles of the morning echoed down the ridge. Unfortunately, the gobbles from the roosted birds were coming from a long way off. As time went by, it became obvious that, no matter what calls Bob made we were not going to entice these gobblers to come looking for love.
After what seemed like an eternity, Bob whispered "Are you up for a hike?" I quickly agreed, as I knew that there was a farm road that would allow us to approach the oak ridge where the turkeys were gobbling without spooking them.
We eased along the old dirt road and approached the area where my husband had taken his Tom earlier in the week. We stopped and listened, as we started to move along again, turkeys started to gobble. They were close... real close! Bob motioned to me to look for a place where we could set up our decoys and plan an ambush. As we looked over a small crest in the road, we could see a bright red head of a strutting Tom in the middle of the dirt road about 50 yards away. We both dropped to our knees, but we knew the bird had spotted our movement and listened for the tell tale putting of an alarmed turkey as he left the scene. To' our amazement, we never heard a putt.
We peeked over the small crest in the hill and, to our surprise; the long beard was coming toward us. Bob motioned to me to get down and to lay flat on my belly next to him. We were lying prone in the middle of the road as the Tom crested the hill. I had my 20 gauge Mossburg up to my shoulder and ready. To our increasing surprise, as the Tom spotted us in the road, he began to run toward us at a full gallop.
We were totally camouflaged and we think that he may have thought we were other turkeys. We also realized that, in our haste to hit the deck, the decoy Bob had been carrying was now lying in the road. It is possible that the approaching Tom thought that a more dominant bird was injured and he was coming in to get in a few licks of his own.
Whatever the reason, the Tom kept on coming at full speed. When I thought he was within range, I whispered to Bob "Now?" "Not yet?' he replied. I waited. "NOW?" "No, not yet: he replied again. "NOW?" I insisted. Bob finally gave me the green light. "Take him," he whispered loudly.
I had my front bead low on the bird's chest because as he was running, his head was bobbing around so much that I was having a hard time keeping him in my sights. As I squeezed the trigger, the shot toppled the Gobbler over backwards as if he had been run over.
It was at that point that I noticed he was being followed by a group of Jakes. Bob told me that he had seen them the whole time lagging behind the Tom. I had been so intent on making a good shot, that I hadn't even noticed them.
We hugged and admired my second long beard in two years of turkey hunting. The bird weighed 16 pounds and sported a 9-inch beard. While my Gobbler wasn't quite as big as Bob's, the hunt was one of the most exciting we have ever had. Congrats Linda (Sunshine)!
Ashley Elliot, 11,
from Mount Vernon, Maine
with her first turkey, a Jake, weighing 15lbs.
My Congrats to you also Ashley! Like Daughter like Mother!
Talk about memories.... I have one that I would like to share with you. My name is Jeff Smith, I have two daughters that love the outdoors. They love to hunt and fish. Their names are Kelsey, age 14 and Anna age 11. This story is about Kelsey and her hunt. On Dec. 31, 2005, Kelsey and I got to our stand late around 4:20. We were hunting in a box stand in a 60 acre field with a food plot in one of the bottoms. Kelsey sat facing one direction and I watched the other way. At around 5:15 I heard some deer running in a thicket, then I saw them, 4 does with a large deer behind them. I told Kelsey to come get in my lap so she could see and maybe get a shot. The does came running out in the field and did not stop until they got around 275 yards. Then they stopped and looked back. Then we saw movement back in the thicket and saw it was a good buck. The does ran on out of the field and the buck just stood looking for them. The buck then came out in the field in a trot with his head down. Kelsey wanted to take a good shot so I tried to get the buck to stop by grunting with my mouth. I had to get really loud and the buck stopped and looked back. Kelsey made a great shot and dropped him in his tracks. The shot was about 160 yards with her .243. Talk about making a Dad proud. The buck is a 12-point with a 19-inch spread and 6 ½ inch bases. The main beams are 25 ½ inches long. The deer weight is 210 lbs. We live in the West Lincoln Community around Brookhaven, Mississippi. What a memory, Jeff
In November 1981, my son Greg and I went hunting for the first time. We hunted at Brown’s Point, on Kings Point Island north of Vicksburg at the invitation of Willis Dykes, the camp manager. Before going out on the first hunt of the day we were told to shoot any deer, buck or doe, as long as it was two dogs tall. Greg and I were together in the stand when we turned and saw two does crossing the path. I had a double barrel shotgun and Greg had a .3030. I asked Greg if he thought the deer was two dogs tall and of course he responded with a, “yes Dad”. I said, “let them have it”. Greg hit and killed his deer on his first shot and I shot both barrels at my deer. I was shooting a 30-yard gun at 60 yards. The deer ran into the woods turned back and ran across the same path that he had just come from. I was wearing a shooting vest and I had shot shells, deer slugs and bird shot all on my vest. What I was going to do with all that, I don’t know! I’m short, squatty and muscular and I looked like Elmer Fudd. I grab my gun and chased my deer…I was shooting and running at the same time. Starting with my buckshot, my birdshot and my slugs. I cleaned myself out. On the last shot I had one slug and my deer stop and looked at me and I let it have it in the neck. (When I skinned the deer out, I found one hole in it and had missed the other shots). Greg and I pulled our deer together and rested our guns against them to take a picture. At that time, the man who manages the dogs came riding up on this horse. His name was “Wild Man”. He had a long beard and half the teeth on his right side were missing. He was intimidating! I asked him what he thought of our deer and he looked at the deer and deposited the results of his tobacco chew on the head of my deer. He then turned and rode away into the woods, never saying a word to us. I turned to Greg and said, “son we are in trouble”. All the hunters gathered together on the road and one of the hunters came up and said, “I didn’t know what was going on with all that shooting - I thought that the Yankee Bob Phillips wanted to start the Battle of Vicksburg all over again”. We all went back to the camp and hung up the deer. We had never done that either and gutted them and that is when the hunters picked up the blood and put it on us. (See picture). After that was all over, we went into the camp house to eat lunch and Willis said, “well TWO DOGS TALL, you got your deer and you got your southern nickname all at one time”. My license plate on my Toyota Tacoma is – you guessed it! TWODOGS
A write-up in The Vicksburg Post ~ Carlton "Carl" Thomas was hunting with his Gran Gran, Marian Phillips, during youth weekend (2003) when he got a 5-point buck somewhere around the Big Black River. The deer weighed 150 lbs. and he used his Gran Gran's .270 to make the nearly 100 yard shot. High Five Carl!
Today, I copied my website pages (own domain ~ marianladyhunter.com) that I have had for over a decade to a new Blogger account. This will make it easier for me to maintain myself. In the beginning I will be posting pictures that were on my old website to this one. I already have a blog called, Marian's Hunting Stories, etc., etc., etc., and will continued to post to it daily. I may post some pictures here that were taken long ago back in 1985 when I first started hunting. I wish now that I had written a journal of all my hunting adventures like Bob told me too. I did for awhile but stopped after a few hunts. I do hope you enjoy my new ADixie Lady Deer Hunterblog! Marian