After living in Alaska for 3 years I finally got myself motivated to to go hunting. I have been wanting to try my hand at hunting since I was a kid growing up in the city but was always either too busy or didn't have someone to show me the ropes and was worried to go out on my own. I had the day off from work, the hunting regulations book and a map so I said enough waiting ill do it myself. I took my recently restored Marlin model 81DL with factory peep sights and went out for some small game. I spent last week tweaking the rifle to make sure it was reliable and practiced enough to shoot out the bulls eye at 25 yards so I was very happy with the rifle.
My main goal was rabbit and thanks to searching a lot of older threads on TFL I think i had a decent strategy down. I found areas of fallen trees and brush and would walk a little bit then pause and look around all the low lying areas and slowly work my way along in that fashion. I did this for about an hour when I had my first encounter. I went to step over a fallen tree and a hare (I think it was a hare and not a snowshoe) Sprinted out from almost under my feet. My first reaction as a city slicker for the first 27 years of my life was to have a small heart attack not knowing what the heck just started making noise unto my feet haha. I saw the hare sprint about 20 yards ahead and I made my way around where I could get a view of it again behind a tree. I had his head and top part of its shoulders in view so I aimed and pulled the trigger... nothing, Safety on... Noob alert. I switched the safety off made a bit to much noise and he was off like a... well like a rabbit, never to be seen again
Shortly after, I was rather disappointed in myself and a bit tired from getting through some thick brush, and I hear a clumsy sounding flapping above my head. I look up and a ruffed grouse flies right over my head about 20 yards and plops down on a stump. I had a branch at chest height in front of me for the perfect rifle rest. I held my front sight right at the base of its neck. This time I switched off the safety, was a bit more patient and squeezed the trigger. The grouse flopped to the ground flapped for about 3 seconds then stopped. I hit it dead center in the neck almost taking its head off.
I didn't get the rabbit I was hoping for but I cant describe how stoked I was to get something on my first trip. Even though it was just a rather lazy looking bird, it was a rush pulling the trigger and knowing that rifle that's 3 times my age with no fancy optics put the bullet exactly where I wanted, when I needed it too. Not to mention the immense sense of peace in the woods when I am trying to blend in to my surroundings.
Well I have rambled about my first trip enough so here is a pic of my first kill
I have not posted a whole lot on this forum but I have read and learned quite a bit from everyone on here so I would like to thank everyone for all the great information and motivating hunting stories for getting me my first successful hunt.