By Savanah Endicott
ID, KS, OR, Mule Deer, Whitetail, Blacktail
At age 13, I was able to accomplish shooting a mule deer, a whitetail, and a blacktail all for the first time within a year. This was an amazing opportunity and blessing.
In late October, my dad and I, along with some friends, drove over to Idaho to hunt mule deer. We drove all night. At about 3:30 a.m., we started to hike in to where we were going to hunt. We split up, so now it was just Dad and me. We hiked up some steep elevation, and we were exhausted. We were going to stop and do some glassing when we hit a certain ridge. Dad stopped me when he spotted two nice mule deer bucks. My dad had me get comfortable between two rocks with my rifle. He figured out which was the bigger buck between the two. I was ready to take the shot. The buck turned broadside, so I aimed and took the shot. He was down! A big smile was on my face. This was my first mule deer. I was so excited; I cannot even explain the feeling.
We celebrated and called our friends to come over and hopefully try and get a shot at the second buck. Later, our friends came over, but the second buck was gone. We celebrated my accomplishment, took pictures, and butchered my buck. Idaho was some of the most beautiful country. The view was breathtaking. It was a blessing to be there and come home with meat for my family.
Next came my Kansas hunt early in November with my mom, Lisa Endicott. We flew down to Kansas for an archery deer hunt. We have good friends there who were letting us stay with them and hunt on their property. We stayed with them for a week and had an absolute blast! They were funny, nice, and some of the most fun people I have ever been around. They took us out to tree stands and blinds every day. We were waiting for the right buck to come in. There were 12 degree mornings, and it was almost the same temperature in the evenings. I didn’t care. I loved absolutely every minute of it! I saw more bucks in Kansas than I had ever seen.
After three days of hunting with no buck down, we decided to hunt out of Alicia’s blind for our evening hunt. It had been snowing heavily, and we were seeing quite a few bucks in the distance. Finally, some does came in feeding for a while and then there he was! A very nice buck came out from behind some thick brush. In that moment, I knew he was the one. My heart was racing as we waited for him to come in closer. He ended up right in front of us, and I had to wait for him to turn broadside. He finally turned, and I drew my bow back and made a perfect shot. I was overwhelmed with happiness about this very first bow kill on an amazing buck.
That night, we celebrated and even had deer heart for the very first time. This trip was one of the major highlights of my life. I had the greatest time in Kansas with some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Thank you, David, Alicia, Mark, and Cindy!
Once we were back from Idaho and Kansas, it was time for the late blacktail season. Early Sunday morning, my dad and I went up in the snow to sit in our blind in hopes that some bucks would come by. We set up our doe decoy and sat patiently for quite a while. Dad said, “That’s a nice buck!”
As I grabbed for my bow, I thought I could maybe have a chance at a third buck this year. It felt crazy! I was focused on this amazing 3x3 buck with eyeguards. He started walking up the hill past us when my dad made a quick grunt sound and the buck turned our way and saw the decoy. He was interested and came walking right in. I drew back, and as soon as he turned, I took some time and let the arrow fly. My arrow hit its mark. My dad and I hugged and couldn’t get the smiles off our faces. The shot was perfect. We gave him some time before following his blood trail. We started down the trail but did not see blood, just tracks in the snow. We came to a hill with a creek at the bottom. It looked like he had run down to the creek. I looked at the creek once more and saw a large body. There he was! I was so excited that I just slid down the hill to get to my buck. He was half in the creek. He was the most beautiful buck ever. I pulled him out of the creek and marveled at him. This was a blessed day and what you would call a perfect hunt.
I’m so thankful and blessed that I can hunt and that I have been raised around hunting and taught to hunt.