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First deer stories are a perennial favorite for hunters. I bagged mine on a mid-morning in November, while sitting on a ridgeline that fed into a deep ravine covered by mature hemlocks in West Michigan. This doe was coming right up the ridge and I didn’t get a shot until it was so close that I could have it with a stick. I aimed for the throat but hit it in the jaw. The shot knocked the deer down but then it jumped back to its feet. I grabbed it’s neck, tackled it, and cut it’s throat. That morning we ate the heart, fried in oil and served with ketchup. It was an introduction to the big-game lifestyle — a lifestyle that is sometimes bloody and violent but always sublime.