On opening morning, my 10-year-old daughter, Grace, and I were in a stand together near Outing. This is the same stand that Grace’s brother, Cy, 11, was in last year when he shot his first deer. Grace was hunting with a .243, and a doe came through at first light. But Grace couldn’t get a shot. Then about 9, a spike appeared. Grace braced herself and shot. The buck was about 65 yards away, and we saw it go down. She made a perfect shot! Hugging her, I could feel her heart beating. Climbing down, we said a prayer for the animal, as is our custom. Grace’s deer was the only one taken among hunters in our camp this year that included grandpa Cy Kruse, brother Cy, uncle Rick Kruse and me.

Jay Kruse, Twin Cities