I still vividly remember my first deer hunting.

The year was 1995, I was 10 years old, and I was finally legally able to attend Maine’s annual deer season. This was the benchmark day of my life and, as far as I could understand, kind of the gateway to ritual masculinity. With the gear prepped, the anticipation ran high for weeks. The night before, everything had been laid out on the dining room table, and finally, in the early hours of the morning like we had never seen before, it was time to get ready for the big day.

Gear back then was very simple. Like most of my age, I received coveted hand-me-down hunting clothes. Beanies and vests meet state fluorescent orange requirements. He slipped a pair of old state-issue size 10 Danner boots into my size 8 feet to complete the ensemble.


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