This week’s Challenge of the Hunt Video blog series comes from Intrepid Outdoors Lead Video Editor Wade McMillin. Wade shares the story of a husband and wife, who head to Northeast, Wyoming in search for whitetail deer.
The sport of big game hunting can truly bring families closer together. More times than most that story is about a father and son. But when a husband can take his wife into the deer woods and she’s successful, it produces different kinds of proud feelings that are unmatched.
In the fall of 2012, that’s how Intrepid Outdoors field producer Eric Andersen felt when he traveled to the Solitude Ranch near Devils Tower, Wyoming with his wife, Oya Andersen and their infant daughter, Lexi. The couple drove a little less than 500 miles over the course of eight hours in an attempt to harvest Olya’s first buck deer. Olya had two tags on her, one for a buck and an additional doe tag as the Andersen family is all about filling their freezer with fall venison. That was Olya’s mission as she started her hunt in search of a Solitude doe.
Eric drove his wife around the grounds of the Solitude, searching for doe and it didn’t take long until they saw a small heard in the distance. Olya decided to pop out of the truck. Eric grabbed the camera and the pair were in pursuit.
The spot and stalk hunt covered a few miles before Olya thought she was within shooting distance with her muzzleloader, a weapon that not a lot of women would probably choose for their first hunt. With Eric’s guidance, Olya did as she was told and lined up her shot. Olya then fought off all her nerves, squeezed the trigger on her black-powder weapon and absolutely dumped her doe.
“That’s what I’m talking about,” she said after the deer dropped. “That’s what deer are supposed to do when you shoot them. Not run away like crazy.”
Eric was overly excited about what he just witnessed.
“It all paid off,” he told his wife. “You just put table fare on the table. You dumped her.”
Olya shared her husband’s excitement as she walked toward the doe. A hug and a kiss were soon exchanged even closer as the heat of the moment calmed down and the married couple shared the memorable experience. There’s no doubt Eric was extremely proud of his wife and it goes without saying that she was proud of herself as Olya just started practicing with the muzzleloader earlier that week. And like most visitors of the Solitude Ranch, Olya was taken back by the picturesque environment of the majestic Black Hills in Northeast Wyoming.
“The ranch is beautiful,” Olay said. “I could truly experience the beauty of this area.”
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