About The Author


Kim Hiss, an associate editor at Field & Stream, has hunted ducks, antelope, turkeys, and deer throughout the country, enjoying a number of women's hunts along the way. She lives in Dobbs Ferry, New York. Click here to email Kim.

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August 23, 2007

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Your Most Prized Hunting Posession

Shed

I love stuff. Especially when the stuff is associated with a great memory. Matchbooks, coasters, airline tickets, pictures—I’m a shameless pack rat when it comes to remembering anything from a fun movie to a great trip. Since some of my favorite memories are from hunts, I have a lot of personal prizes from the field. Not in the sense of trophy mounts, but quieter prizes, like the spent shell from the first animal I killed, or a pebble from the most perfect turkey hunting spot I ever found.

One of my all time favorite possessions is this “autographed” shed. I was on an NRA Women on Target hunt for antelope in Wyoming< last September, and at one point, the guide and I set off by ourselves to see if a herd we’d been keeping an eye on was visible beyond a nearby rise. After a brief trek through the rolling scrub, we got to the edge of the drop-off, glassed what turned out to be an antelope-free landscape, and decided to go back.

As we turned, I spotted a white object perfectly centered on the peak of a hill to my left. The clouds parted, the angels sang, and a shaft of divine light focused the full force of heaven on that square foot of Wyoming, revealing a gleaming shed. I humbly stepped into the light, picked up the shed, and showed it to the guide. He was less impressed, but nothing was going to ruin my sense of discovery, and I carted it back to show the other women.

That was the last day of the hunt, and that evening back in Glenrock, I brought the shed and a sharpie to the table and asked everyone on the hunt to sign it. So one side of the shed is clean, bleached white, and the other displays all their names.

Of course, I had to get the shed back home to New York, and at the time airport security had just been tightened to exclude things like my Pert Plus from my carry-on. The shed absolutely couldn’t fit in my checked bag, so I put it in my shoulder bag and hoped for the best.

Before I even got to the security scanner, I’d already been relieved of my travel toothpaste. But the shed was still in my bag, which I watched disappear down the conveyor belt and into the machine to be displayed for the employee watching the monitor. When my bag came onto his screen, he stopped the belt, leaned in a little closer, looked at me and said, “Eight-pointer? Cool.” Thus deprived of my dangerous Sensodyne, and still in possession of my horns that had evolved in nature as an instrument of combat, I boarded the plane for home, where my autographed shed now sits on my mantle.

Even non-pack rats must have a least one memento from a great hunt—what’s your favorite? –K.H.

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Comments

Sarah Rogstad

I like to take pictures. I have photo of my cousin B. puking after gutting a deer. Now he has been hunting for may may years yet he still pukes when he gut a deer and I have all I can do to control the laughter. ( a man that is 6ft+ 250lbs+ puking like a newbie. That my funny.

annette shearer

My momentos so far are my memories. Which I am embarassed to share alot. I grew up hunting with my Dad and after years of not hunting I wanted to get into it again. So my Dad set me up with some of his buddies and equipped me with a rifle that had a laser dot scope. I listened to his every word about what I should do. As a kid my Dad always did the shooting and I watched. well, I was taken back this logging road about two miles and told to go to a certain spot where I was sure to be in the path of a deer. I sat there and sat there behind this tree, second guessing myself about if I was quiet enough and what I was doing wrong. After about 5 hours it was getting dark and I decided I was gonna leave for the day. I was being very noisy and i looked over my shoulder and there it was!!!! A deer!!!!! All I saw was a rack and started calculating how I was going to get my gun around and drop him. I finally got myself in position and the little red laser dot was on the deer....off the deer, on the deer, off the deer, according to my heartbeat. I finally squeezed one off and looked. I didnt see anything so I thought I missed it. Thinking that I had missed I started walking out and walked right to the three pointer I had just shot. I let out a woo hoo that echoed through the woods.. Over the radio I heard my Dads buddy say.. Junior, I think she got one . The reason the deer didn't go anywhere was because I was aiming at the heart but between my heartbeats and squeezing the trigger the bullet landed right between the eyes. It was one I will never live down but I still have the little three pointer rack on my wall next to the bigger ones my experience led me to have. I will never forget that day.

ANewMe2B

Last season was my very first hunting deer season and turkey season. In the brief few months that encompassed that glorious time I racked up on several new treasury trove items. I pick up some of the durndest things... but love my memory trunk.

I ended up with 2 rifle cartridges (my first and second deer), 3 spent shotgun shells (my first sporting clay, my first quail and my first thunder chicken/turkey bird), an empty turtle shell that is about at big as a half dollar, a squared rock from the exact spot where I shot my first thunder chicken, an arrowhead and an empty hornets nest about the size of a chicken drumstick. I also have an assortment of junk some recognizable and some not so recognizable... pieces of old colored glass, part of a metal trinket.. I know I am a pack rat!!

When I was growing up I saved all sorts of stuff... most memorable are teeth that my horses shed in their feed buckets through their different stages of life. I have about 13 or 14 of them. I even have a little plastic clown I use to carry for good luck that I found at a fair ground during a horse show. Crazy how little things can add up. Is this a sickness?? Ha!!

Laura Bell

I was going after my first ever turkey and had no luck the first day of Youth Season. My dad called up his hunting buddy who lives an hour away and he said come on up he had a friend that could call me in one. So we headed up there and walked what seemed like an hour to me. We arrived at a mosquito infested area and got set up. I heard the gobbles as daylight broke and the gun was up and ready for action. Turkeys started coming from in front of us and were everywhere. Finally I picked out a red head that was about 15-20 yards out and all by his lonesome. I squeezed the trigger and he dropped!!! I couldn't believe the rush I felt! Well after we jumped up and got to my first turkey, the guy that was calling came over to me and said "you need to keep this." It was my empty shell, I didn't give it much thought then but to this day I still keep my empties and write on them what I harvested and when. Also I keep the metal tags from the check stations and write on them. Other things include plenty of Pictures and tales of the hunt.

Wanda Hyleman

My most prized possession is my gun. It's a Winchester model 70 .270, and the reason it is so special is because it belonged to my father in law.
Let me tell you how this came about in 1987 his son took me hunting, got an 8 pt my first time out. we all 3 hunted together over the years, I would go with his dad if he had to work or he would even call & say hey girl if you want to go with me in the morning be ready at 5:30, I so enjoyed that, mostly because he was like my dad to me, My own daddy died when I was only 15, so to have this father figure in my life meant the world to me. well in 94 we married & 2 months later we found out his dad had cancer, he battled it for almost a year & passed away in 95. we had our son in 96 & named him after his granddad. but we divorced in 2001, I still hunt & he doesn't , he said it is too painful without his dad, so last year at Thanksgiving he gave me his dad's gun, that I had hunted with since 96. since we have been divorced 6 years,I was shocked, but I said I will take good care of it & he said I know my dad would want you to have it. so it is my most prized possession along with the memories of all those special hunts. so 20 seasons & 33 deer later I know I have something that will bring me years of pleasure.

Annette Shearer

My most prized hunting possessions surprisingly are not the little momentos I have come away with from my hunts. I am a pack rat when it comes to sentimental values of objects that would seem otherwise "totally useless" to other individuals. Although I have those momentos, and can tell a story behind each and every one,my most prized posessions are once again my memories. I remember my father coming home and telling me to take the swings off the swingset, which meant one thing! He had killed a deer and he was going to hang it from the swingset and field dress it. Often times, I would be in my Sunday clothes ready for church and I would be out there helping him with my Grandmother in the background yelling at me not to get anything on my "Koolats." I would listen to what I thought was his far fetched stories of how he had gotten the deer and all the things that had happened while he was on the hunt. My Dad was a very colorful person so I never knew when he was stretching the truth a bit. Now I realize how lucky he was to have been able to hunt so close to home that he could field dress a deer on our swingset and maybe his stories weren't as far fetched as I thought. With that being said and me grown up and now living in a city where hunting is as scarce as "snipe hunting" I want to share this story....
It was the second year I was hunting as a serious hunter. The first year I had taken a three pointer in a pretty funny way and that story was in a previous blog. So I had ventured out and was now hunting on strange land with strange people. Well, they really werent strange but it wasn't my Dad and his buddies. So, the focal point of the hunt was the barn. The men hunted out of the barn with its nice loft and the camo screen over the hay shoot with their nice chairs and comfortable surroundings. I hiked back to a stationary stand about a half mile from the barn overlooking a small pond with a salt block area that was so rutted out by deer I could have dropped a 4 wheeler in it and it would have a hard time getting out. I sat there forever and saw a couple of does but nothing I wanted to take aim at. It was starting to get dark and I thought I would sit a little bit more. By the time I saw last light and climbed down from the stand it was pitch black! I started walking back to the barn and a couple hundred feet into my walk I heard something to my right. I shined my flashlight and it illuminated two eyes of a doe. I remember my Dad saying light would blind a deer and it did. We stared at each other for awhile until my amusement was over. I put my flash light down and started walking. I heard something a little closer,again I shined my light. It was the same doe but just a little bit closer to me. We looked at each other again and I put my light down and took off walking. AGAIN I HEAR SOMETHING!!!!! I shine my light and the only thing separating me and the doe was a ditch that separated the field from the tractor path I was on! I took off running and the deer followed my every acceleration. Rattle bags were rattling, bleats were going off, and I prayed my safety was on as my 30.06 was bouncing from shoulder to shoulder.I even thought about the scent I put on. I didn't stop until I dove through the door of the barn like I had just scored the winning touchdown. Of course the guys looked at me like what the #$%%$!!! They were playing cards and had long put up there hunting gear. I said a deer was chasing me!!! And of course they thought I was crazy and started making jokes that I was afraid of the dark. I tried to make them believe but I dont think they ever did. So, this is a true hunting story.... it makes me wonder if I should have given my Dad a little more credibility than I gave him