A Girl’s First Deer

  • Learning about Nature, Patience, Heritage and Traditions
  • Hoping for Sweet Venison of my own
  • Using my Savage Axis 6.5 Creedmoor Deer Rifle

By Hanna Lucey w/Forrest Fisher (Hanna’s words are in italics)

One happy Hanna Lucey with her first deer, a beautiful doe taken near Ellicottville, NY. Terry Lucey Photo

Hunting is about sharing the heritage of our forefathers and conservation, and understanding it, about leaving the protection of home and finding new solace and a new undefined protection in the hunting woods.

For Hanna Lucey, a senior high school teenager from Amherst, NY, it was the time to discover deer hunting, something that she said, “I have always wanted to do.”

“This was my first year deer hunting, I was certified to hunt from a course in Rochester, New York, and I was so excited to be at hunting camp with my dad (Terry), mom (Joie), Uncle Danny, cousin Brendan, my sister Serena and Serena’s boyfriend, Fred.  We were hunting on 85 acres of private land near Ellicottville, New York, about 60 miles south of where we live. There are lots of deer where we live in Amherst, but we are not allowed to hunt there.”  

Hanna discovered that hunting teaches us about nature and each other, and about developing respect for wildlife. Hunting is about forming a new understanding with nature and with our outdoor hunting family, and it’s about tradition, mentoring, listening closely, and the unforgettable experience of new encounters in the wild. It is also about the discovery that deer hunting is a big challenge, but that hunting is also about fun too.

Deer hunting for younger hunters provides them with hands-on, life-long, learning experience, and it is about much more than big bucks. It is about learning patience.

Hanna was hunting for her first deer on the second weekend of the New York State southern zone big game hunting season. It was Nov. 25, 2017. She had spent much time prior to this learning from her hunter family and mentors.

 “I was excited, a little scared, but I wanted to be brave, cautious and accurate in case I did see a deer and could take a shot, so I was trying to stay calm. Nothing happened in the morning, but my afternoon hunt started just before 2:00 p.m. Uncle Danny and Brendan went behind the hill, I was going to hunt alone and was heading to our chairs in the ravine.   

Finding deer sign, a new buck rub, all part of the learning experience for new hunters. Joe Forma Photo


The weather was perfect and almost too warm, it was sunny and 45 degrees. As I walked above the ravine to get there, I stopped and looked around every few steps, like I was taught.

My plan was to sit and wait for a deer. Just then I heard a noise and watched three deer running away. They stopped and were around 20 yards away from our chairs.  I stayed quiet, just watching, and then I saw them. There they were, two deer through the trees.  The one right behind the other staring right at me. I was trembling a bit. I slowly lowered myself to a squat so I could aim steady, then I shot the deer that wasn’t looking at me.

It was 2:05 p.m., my sister texted me when she heard the shot asking if it was me. I was holding my Savage Axis 6.5 Creedmoor bolt-action rifle and I was trembling.

After I took that shot, I’ve felt feelings that I’ve never felt before, such as the biggest adrenaline rush of my life, especially when I walked up to the deer laying on the ground. 

I called my sister to tell her to come to me because I was so shaken up and clueless on what to do next. Then she called my uncle and all of them came down to me. We field dressed it and took it back to the cabin to hang. I felt so proud and so lucky!


Hanna is looking forward to the moment that she has a big buck in her sights, the things that dreams and lifelong hunters are made of. Joe Forma Photo


I’ve always loved venison and thought it would be great to be able to eat a deer of my own.  

I had plans to hunt the rest of the season to see if I could get myself a big buck.”   

Hunting encourages quality family time and can result in great table fare that can be shared together. When starting kids out in the world of hunting, the parents know when the time is right.  In this case, it took this young lady a few more years than when most kids start. Right now, it looks like she may become a lifelong hunter.

At the end of the day, after shooting her first deer, when you hear this young lady hunter say, “I can’t wait for next week,” you know that Hanna’s dad and uncle, all her mentors, have done their job of teaching responsible hunting very well.