Editor's note: To accompany Deer Camp 2010, we've asked athletes, prominent figures and outdoorsmen to relate their first deer kill.
John Crews, 32, of Salem, Va., has fished BASS since 2001. He won his first Elite Series event this year on the California Delta and the four-time Classic qualifier competed in this July's Toyota Trucks Championship Week. He lists his hobbies at weight training, golf and time with family. He hunted as a youth and is just now returning to the sport with his stepson, Noah.
My first deer kill I was, I think, about 13 years old and my dad would not let me go by myself. Obviously, he had taken me with him and I had shot at a few deer before.
Note shot "at" them. I probably would have been better off throwing rocks at them, as I did that when I was 9, 10 or 11.
But then, I was serious about it early on and I think it was 13 and I was hunting right behind my dad's house. We had a couple hundred acres with a lot of deer running around in Amelia county near Jetersville, Va., where I grew up.
There were a couple of deer in the field right behind the house. I was out there, lined one up, put it in the scope, and pulled the trigger and "boom!" I looked and there were two or three deer running all around. They were just kind of running in circles because they didn't know where the sound came from.
I thought I shot the one but then another one stopped and I put that one in the cross hairs and "boom," I pulled the trigger, and I saw that one drop. I thought, "Wow, that's cool."
I was so excited, I didn't know what to do with myself, and I was all fired up. A family friend was with me and he said, "You killed two."
I thought I missed the first one, but I actually killed two does the first time that I actually killed anything. And they both fell right where they were. It was perfectly legal because in Virginia you can kill two in a day.
After that, I used to hunt real hard through my teenage years and when I was in college. I hunted a whole lot when I was in college.
Then, when I got out of college, I started fishing full time. I still hunted a fair amount and then when I started seeing my wife, we started dating, got married and had a family, it just cut into the time.
Now my stepson is 11 and this past year, when he was 10, he killed his first two deer. Not in the same day, but he was with me for both of 'em.
We were in the stand together, and he killed the first one at about 20 or 25 yards with the same rifle that I killed my deer with, my first deer. He shot that one, and then two days later from the same stand he killed another -- the first one was a small buck and then the second one was a doe.
We were together, so that was pretty awesome. It comes full circle, almost 20 years later, those deer were killed literally 100 yards from where I killed my first two deer.