Oct. 26, 2012, was my first day in the wild as a real hunter and I was a bit nervous. The last time I shot anything was two years ago — it was a can, 50 yards away.
My boyfriend Michael Herrera, a Hunt Planner at Colorado Parks and Wildlife, was determined to share with me what he loves — hunting. I agreed to go on one condition: I was only going to shoot a big buck. I didn’t want to shoot anything that looked like a baby, and the shot had to be good.
We spotted bucks on our first day out, luck was on our side. When we got 300 hundred yards away, we set up. But I didn’t feel comfortable with my gun position and didn’t feel I had a good shot. We moved in, about 150 yards away. It was perfect but it took a good two minutes before I felt the gun and my breathing steady.
I saw my buck, paused for a second, took a breath and shot. I looked at Michael and he was smiling, his cousin was jumping with joy screaming, "You dropped him!"
When I saw my buck I was a little sad. But I thought about how he had lived a good long life, it was the circle of life. I put some grass in his mouth as a blessing to say thank you for his life and said a little prayer for him.
I also named him Fred. I felt Fred was a living creature so he deserved a name, for respect. Hunting is a sacred thing, I would rather eat a deer or elk instead of a cow that has not lived a good life. Michael has shared that aspect of hunting with me, and that trip was one to never be forgotten.