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my first hunt

There are many great adventures for you and your family to enjoy in the South Dakota's outdoors, we invite you to share your memories with others. Submit a photo and story to have it included in one of the "My First" pages. Entries are not limited to just children - anyone who has experienced something new in the outdoors can submit an entry!


My First Hunt Photo Kahli

Kahli Gall took her 1st gobbler during a mentor hunt in the spring of 2014. She made a clean shot at 30 yards with her 20 gauge youth shotgun.
- Photo submitted by Corey Gall


My First Hunt Photo Jake and J.R.

Jake and J.R. after their first west river deer hunt hiking Lake Oahe river bluffs in Stanley County.
- Photo submitted by father, Bob Mayer


My First Hunt Photo Jadalyn

Jadalyn, age 12, on a mentored hunt with her dad near Brandon, SD. Very successful harvest, close range-clean shot.
- Photo submitted by Jill Fenderson


My First Hunt Photo Lucas

Our son Lucas turned 10 in 2012. Nearing hunting season, my wife said "you need to take Lucas out hunting." She, in a good way, regrets those words now! I educated myself on the mentor program and the fall of 2012 was fantastic. He bagged his first rooster on opening day for youth in Spink County, shot his first turkey in Grant County, and made a fantastic prone 234 yard shot to the vitals with his 25-06 Savage on this nice doe in Codington County. Two of these hunts were on state lands. Many thanks to the GF&P and the mentor program! This was an awesome experience for father and son!


My First Hunt Photo Brant and Melissa

Brant, age 10, and Melissa Blessington's turkey hunt - 2013. This was Brant's first turkey!
- Photo submitted by Mike Blessington


My First Hunt Photo Brooke

Brooke bagged her first South Dakota rooster on her second trip afield this year. She broke many pigeons in preparation for her first chance at a wily public land rooster. Her hunting partner Max had a rock solid point on this bird which gave her time to ready herself for the shot.
- Photo submitted by Brooke's father, Aaron Miller


My First Hunt Photo Hudson

My son and husband after Hudson's first pheasant hunt near Sisseton, SD. Hudson (L) is 1 year old. Great faces, great places, South Dakota!
- Photo submitted by Dustin and Katie Bragg


My First Hunt Photo Tommy - GRAND SLAM!

10 year old Tommy had a grand slam this October when he shot his turkey, deer and antelope using one shot each. He has practiced a lot on prairie dogs in the last couple of years.


My First Hunt Photo Abbi

11 year old Abbi from Pierre. First mentor deer hunt with dad. It was a great experience, thanks to GFP for the Youth Mentor hunt program and the public land to hunt!
- Photo submitted by Abbi's father, Jordan Kitts


My First Hunt Photo Briana

As a father, I waited and waited for the day to come when my daughter was going to be 10 years old. I wanted to take her big game hunting. I personally have a passion for deer hunting. I wanted to teach her gun safety first and foremost. We shot at the range, discussed shot placement and even practiced stalking. All of these simple tools came together and she harvested this nice whitetail doe. Thank you SD GF&P for offering such a wonderful program. Briana was thrilled when we walked up on her deer! We no more loaded the deer up and she said, "so... how many more doe tags can I shoot this year?" - I believe she is officially a hunter!
- Photo submitted by Briana's father, Brock


My First Hunt Photo Evan

Evans first goose hunt!
- Photo submitted by Evan's father, Ron


My First Hunt Photo Ryan

Ryan's friend Paul took him out for his first goose hunt. "Lots of geese and an assortment of ducks. It was a lot of fun! Plans have already been made to let me tag along again!


My First Hunt Photo Morgan

Morgan shot his first deer in Brown county with Wayne Tesky.
- Photo submitted by Wayne


My First Hunt Photo Logan

Logan, age 12, shot his first duck on Sunday of the Youth Waterfowl opener. The family yellow lab, Scout, retrieved the duck in the decoys.
- Photo submitted by his dad, Drake


My First Hunt Photo Mason

Mason (age 12) with his first wood duck. Mason had a good evening shoot taking two teal and a wood duck.
- Photo submitted by his dad, Jeremy


My First Hunt Photo Austin

Austin was able to score on his first deer and fill his 2012 Youth Deer Tag with his trusty .308 rifle.
- Photo submitted by his hunting buddy Todd


My First Hunt Photo Andrew

11 year old Andrew harvested his first deer with a Mentored Hunting tag on September 9, 2012.
- submitted by his father, Adam


My First Hunt Photo Evan

Evan shot his first duck and it was a full color drake mallard. Evan has been going duck hunting with his dad since he was 3. He wanted his first duck to be full color,and he succeeded.
- submitted by Ron & Jodi Koerner (parents)


My First Hunt Photo Clay

I went on my first hunt with my Uncle Jason and my brother Colby. We were in the Black Hills and on the second morning of tracking we came upon a group of 16 deer. Half of them ran off, but I was able to get a shot off at 100m and get my first doe! I took her down with a .243 caliber in the hip. Thanks to my uncle Jason and my "eagle eye scout" Colby!
- submitted by Kimberely Petersen (mother)


My First Hunt Photo Isiah & Noah

We had been sitting in the ground blind for about 15 minutes when we first started seeing deer. As the day was winding down I told Isiah to make sure we watch behind us. Sure enough, Isiah turns around and see a doe and followed by a buck coming right at us down the fence line. Isiah got ready to shoot, nervous was an under statement. He wasn't going to take a bad shot The doe continued and was about 150 yards out. As she continued walking away, Isiah goes "she is moving."  I made a grunted and the doe stopped. Isiah pulled the trigger and down she went. She didn't go far. Perfect lung shot with his .223 Grandpa Stan had bought him.

What made the afternoon even better is his cousin, Noah, who was also on his first hunt, shot his doe 20 minutes before him within a mile of each other. Also with a .223, with one shot, with his Grandpa Dennis.


My First Hunt Photo Nathan

Nathan Schnabel shot his first deer in November at 121 yards using a Remington 270 in Stanley County. He was hunting with his dad Al Schnabel.