8-year-old describes first successful deer hunt in a letter

In one of my favorite traditions, Maine deer hunters are usually pretty eager to tell their local outdoor writer their tales from the field. And as those stories continue to make their way to my desk, I’m happy to share them with BDN readers.

Hunter Roberts, 8, of Whiting poses with the 113-pound deer he shot on Youth Deer Day, Oct. 21, 2017, while hunting with his dad, Jim Roberts. (Photo courtesy of Jim Roberts)

Today’s tale is especially cool, as you’ll see. Hunting is not only this 8-year-old’s game. It’s also his name.

Meet Hunter Roberts, who lives in the Washington County town of Whiting. On Youth Deer Day, Oct. 21, Hunter shot his first deer, and his proud dad, Jim Roberts, reached out to share the tale.

“I am a 56-year-old Dad (a self-described ‘old guy with a little kid’) and have waited 30 years for this day to happen,” Jim Roberts wrote. “Hunter turned 8 in October, and I felt assured he was ready and we were fortunate enough to get landowner permission to hunt in East Machias.”

The day was long-awaited, and was going to be special no matter what. But it was a much more solemn occasion than they’d planned.

“[Hunter’s] grandfather passed away the day before the hunt, so we dedicated that day to Grampie before we left the house,” Jim Roberts wrote. “Hunter helped with every step of the processing and as he describes, has helped fill the freezer.

Jim Roberts also shared the essay Hunter wrote about the hunt, which I’ve included here.

“I have scanned his handwritten story for you, as well as re-typed it to make sure you can follow some of the phonemic spelling he is developing..which really makes it that much more fun,” Jim Roberts wrote.

So, feel free to read Hunter’s version — it’s sure to make you smile. And if you struggle to follow all of his details, his dad’s translation will help.

Here’s the cleaned-up version:

First Deer

The first time we went out to scout the field. It looked great. We looked at the deer trails and set up the blind. We went past there everyday. We heard that there was a spike horn coming out. In the whole two weeks we only saw one spike horn come out. We have been practicing every day after school. It’s been fun. Now it’s the day. 10/21/17.

We get to the ground blind by 6:00 am. Legal time is 6:29. We waited for about 30 minutes. My dad says, there’s a deer about 30 yards away. I get my gun ready on the shooting stick that my dad made me. The doe walks out. Boom, it drops in it’s tracks. I had to reshoot it. Dad told me to stay calm. Dad said a lot of adult hunters get too excited and miss.

We go to Pineo’s True Value in Machias and tag it. It weighed 113 pounds. My dog loves the cooked bones. My dogs name is Ranger. This year I am filling the freezer!

Congrats to Hunter, and thanks for sharing the story. And a reminder: If you’ve got a deer tale to share, you can reach me via email at jholyoke@bangordailynews.com


John Holyoke

About John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. Today, he's the Outdoors editor for the BDN, a job that allows him to meet up with Maine outdoors enthusiasts in their natural habitat. The stories he gathers provide fodder for his columns, and this blog.