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The "Firsts"

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Published on: Aug. 2, 2006

Last revision: Nov. 29, 2010

up. I pulled the trigger and had my first Missouri deer.

I hunted deer many times after that first deer, but the memories of my first one are the most vivid. Almost 15 years later, my oldest son, Tim, decided that he would like to deer hunt. We got out my old rifle and, for reasons I can’t fully explain, added a scope. I installed it myself.

We have a safe shooting area on our land in Moniteau County with a shooting bench. I had never shot a rifle with a scope, although I had been on a shooting team as a youth. On the first shot, I had my forehead much too close to the scope. The recoil drove the scope into my forehead between my eyes, leaving a superficial half-circle cut that bled profusely.

I walked back to the house. Jen, my wife, was in the garden in the back yard. I could tell that she was alarmed by my condition. It was at that point that my Little Voice popped up in the back of my mind screaming, “No, don’t you dare!” But I had a lifetime tradition of not listening to the sound counsel from my Little Voice, and I was not about to start now.

I placed my hands over my heart, dropped to my knees and bleated out, “I’ve been shot!” Then I fell face down on the grass. The last thing I remember my Little Voice saying was, “Now you’ve done it.” Jen’s reaction was predictable and everything I had hoped for, but I had not thought through the full consequences of my actions. Once she figured out that I was fooling around, she stormed inside the house and I could tell by her body language that I'd better not follow.

Fortunately, I keep my favorite chair in the garage. Here I can retire to lick my self-inflicted wounds, both physical and mental, and figure out how to recover from my poor decision making, often with help from my Little Voice.

I knew that I would have to endure a Level III lecture. As a matter of fact, it was so bad that Jen called her mother, who immediately came over to our house to give me a piece of her mind and soften me up for the main event. I was worried that my final punishment would be a lifetime shooting ban.

After a period of negotiation and groveling,

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