Jackson's SCI Hunting Experience

By: Jackson Ecker

I was so excited back in February when my dad told me he won a youth hunt at the SCI Auction in Mt Pleasant, MI. 

I am twelve years old and this will be my third hunt. 

As the date approached, we realized that my father’s hunt (also bought at the SCI Auction) was during the youth hunt weekend. One of his friends, Bruce, graciously agreed to fill his spot and hunt with me. We had our game plan set! 

We decided to meet at 4:30 am the morning of the hunt - early! The morning was warm and raining, but this wasn’t going to stop us. I had my gun, camo, and bag packed with many things to help pass the time. 

I was full of emotion - excitement, nervousness, and focused determination. The drive from our meeting spot was only a few minutes, so we were quickly out of the car and in the blind.

The blind was well positioned and elevated so that we could see all angles of the field. 

Once the sun began to rise, it took about 45 minutes for the first doe to appear. There were nine together, the biggest herd I had ever seen. They slowly walked along the tree line and then towards us. Unfortunately, something spooked them and they ran back into the woods. 

Our next encounter included three doe and a 6 point buck. They were about 200 yards away and slowly made their way to around 160 yards. They stood there for a while eating and then wandered off. 

There were many to watch in the morning, but nothing in a position to shoot. We decided to break for lunch and try again in the evening. The weather forecast was looking better - cool and NO RAIN. 

We met again late afternoon with BIG hopes for something this evening. We settled into the blind and began to wait for the deer to appear. 

There they were, again, walking the tree line. I had a good feeling about tonight. 

We were watching with the binoculars, as they started to get closer. She was 90 yards away. It was time for me to get my gun set and ready. I was excited - my heart was racing and I could tell I was breathing fast. I raised my gun, unlocked the safety - I was ready to shoot. 

Oh no! A thermometer fell off the wall, made a big noise, and the deer ran off. I was so close to shooting my first deer. 

We waited until night fell and then left the blind. Unfortunately, no other good shots. 

I had a great time - the rush of getting ready to shoot has me hooked. I can’t wait to get back out there to try again.