Being able to watch your daughter harvest a deer by herself, sitting in her stand alone, is nothing short of breathtaking. That might not mean much to some, but for me it meant the world and so much more.
This story began about two years previously. One day after school my daughter and I were out hunting together, when I was faced with the most frightening thing a parent could face. We were 'still hunting' our way towards one of our favorite stands and spotted a few deer. They were still a little way off, so we found a good place to stand and wait for them to come closer. As I leaned against a tree gazing at the deer through my binoculars, I heard the leaves beside me rustling. Not thinking anything of it, I whispered to my daughter to be still and quiet. Suddenly I heard a solid thud beside me, and as I turned towards the sound I saw my little girl on the ground having a full-blown seizure. Panic began to settle in my chest as I leaned down to see that her face had begun to blue, and she was completely unresponsive.
My heart and mind were racing. I didn’t know what to do. I somehow managed to regain my senses and get my emotions a little bit under control. My first thought was to call my wife. Our home was not far away, and she is a registered nurse, so I quickly let her know our situation and location, then dialed 911. The phone operators talked me through applying some sternum rubs and my daughter began to come around. After my daughter woke, my wife arrived to find both of us crying and scared. Not long after my wife got there the ambulance arrived.
The ambulance rushed us to our small local hospital, who, upon examining her, decided that she needed to go to the children’s hospital over two hours away. Over a multi-day stay at the children’s hospital, the doctors ran a whole battery of tests on my daughter. My wife and I were very lost and confused because she had never had any issues like this in the past. What was intended to be a pleasant evening hunting together had turned into a complete nightmare. We went through an entire year of testing and the doctors diagnosed her with epilepsy. Then, after another year, countless hours behind the wheel, and no more seizures, my daughter was finally given a clean bill of health. The doctors never could pinpoint the cause of her seizure, and after that whole ordeal, my daughter was finally free to be a kid again.
This season, on November second, my daughter, my 12-year-old son, and myself were heading into our stands together. My daughter is now old enough to sit in the stand on her own so I would be sharing our double stand with my son. I gave her a radio and she walked off towards her stand. As we settled in, I took a quick peak at my DeercastTM app, and within 5 minutes we had does cruising by the stand. Off in the distance my son and I could see a buck passing by my daughter's stand. She called us on the radio and told us that the buck was a shooter. As we watched we heard the telltale smack of the bolt hitting a deer. We could see the buck hunch his shoulders and take off crashing into the brush. Shortly thereafter she radioed us that she had hit it perfectly behind the front shoulder.
I called her and told her to wait in her stand until we got there. While we were waiting for the buck to expire my son and I were replaying everything, fist bumping, and completely excited for her. We jumped out of our stand and met her at the bottom of hers. We all took turns hugging each other and sharing tears of pure joy. She showed us her shaking hands and the video she had shot from her bow mounted phone. I cannot explain to you the joy I felt in my heart as I got to say to her “Let’s go find your buck, kid.”
- Story By: Jesse May