Sitka Gear
How old were you
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
fuzzy 25-Feb-24
Bowboy 25-Feb-24
FORESTBOWS 25-Feb-24
Dale06 25-Feb-24
Ron Niziolek 25-Feb-24
Who Cares 25-Feb-24
4nolz@work 25-Feb-24
montnatom 25-Feb-24
drycreek 25-Feb-24
ahunter55 25-Feb-24
Scoot 25-Feb-24
pav 25-Feb-24
Recurve Man 25-Feb-24
BigStriper1 25-Feb-24
Basil 25-Feb-24
Grey Ghost 25-Feb-24
Bowaddict 25-Feb-24
buckeye 25-Feb-24
casekiska 25-Feb-24
Charlie Rehor 25-Feb-24
12yards 25-Feb-24
huntr4477 25-Feb-24
Swampbuck 25-Feb-24
Old School 25-Feb-24
grape 25-Feb-24
Lee 25-Feb-24
buckhammer 25-Feb-24
be still 25-Feb-24
Blood 25-Feb-24
Will tell 25-Feb-24
Glunt@work 25-Feb-24
cnelk 25-Feb-24
Billyvanness 25-Feb-24
VAMtns 25-Feb-24
BOHNTR 25-Feb-24
Brian M. 25-Feb-24
scentman 25-Feb-24
MA-PAdeerslayer 25-Feb-24
scentman 25-Feb-24
btnbuck 25-Feb-24
Huntiam 25-Feb-24
Whitetail Xtreme 25-Feb-24
grizzly 25-Feb-24
butcherboy 25-Feb-24
Huntiam 25-Feb-24
DanaC 25-Feb-24
Griz 26-Feb-24
tobywon 26-Feb-24
Supernaut 26-Feb-24
APauls 26-Feb-24
bowhunter24 26-Feb-24
Pat Lefemine 26-Feb-24
JusPassin 26-Feb-24
Buskill 26-Feb-24
carcus 26-Feb-24
StickFlicker 26-Feb-24
jjs 26-Feb-24
KY EyeBow 26-Feb-24
Stan Rauch 26-Feb-24
jmiller 26-Feb-24
tradi-doerr 27-Feb-24
Zim 27-Feb-24
Nyati 27-Feb-24
elkmtngear 27-Feb-24
EmbryOklahoma 27-Feb-24
deerhunter72 27-Feb-24
Rgiesey 27-Feb-24
midwest 27-Feb-24
scentman 27-Feb-24
t-roy 28-Feb-24
Stan Rauch 28-Feb-24
Supernaut 28-Feb-24
air leak 28-Feb-24
RD 28-Feb-24
Shug 28-Feb-24
scentman 28-Feb-24
From: fuzzy
25-Feb-24
First deer barely 14

From: Bowboy
25-Feb-24
12 since that was the legal age for the state I grew up in.

25-Feb-24
12. Hail marry arrow on a mule deer doe.

From: Dale06
25-Feb-24
I grew up in west central Ks in the 60s. Seeing a deer was a big deal. There was very few of them. I believe I was 17 before there was a deer season and licenses were hard to come by. After college I moved to Texas and killed my first deer (rifle) at the ripe old age of 23. My first bow kill was in Michigan , and I was 26. Years old.

From: Ron Niziolek
25-Feb-24
18. Muley with a 30-30 open sights. I had a diagram from Outdoor Life that showed me how to gut it. At 19 took my first archery deer and stuck with a bow since, with a couple exceptions.

From: Who Cares
25-Feb-24
12, legal age. First day out. Dad put me at the base of a tree with a pump 12 guage and a whistle if I needed him. Doe and dandy buck came by. Shot 11 times, Had to reload twice. Dad figured it couldnt be me! Til i blew the whistle. He got excited climbing off his stump. Tore the zipper on his jacket. When he got there I said there should be a couple deer laying over in that area. He searched and searched and found nothing. Finally noticed about 8 feet up in a couple aspens slug holes. A bunch! I said well they were jumping! The rest is history.

From: 4nolz@work
25-Feb-24
I grew up in Iowa the deer hunting was groups and summer applications so we just hunted pheasants quail ducks rabbits and trapped.When bird #s declined and the deer hunting exploded with CRP and huge bucks in the 90s we switched.I didn't kill a deer until college but having moved to the South with liberal bag limits I became a deer/turkey hunter and have literally shot hundreds.Man I miss when pheasants were so plentiful

From: montnatom
25-Feb-24
my dad didn't think I was big enough to deer hunt at 12 so had to wait till I was 13. Shot my first buck opening morning of gun season in Penna and my first bow killed buck the next year at 14. Guess he wouldn't think much of today's age limits...

From: drycreek
25-Feb-24
I was about 18 I think. At that time there were no deer in East Texas where I live. We had to go to the Hill Country and they had plenty. We day leased and could only kill does. I killed my first one with a Model 70 Winchester 30-06 that belonged to my brother-in-law’s father.

When the state eradicated screw worms the deer population exploded in Texas and in a few years deer began filtering into areas where they hadn’t been before. After a few years seeing a deer wasn’t quite the surprise that it once was.

From: ahunter55
25-Feb-24

ahunter55's embedded Photo
ahunter55's embedded Photo
Bowhunted Illinois first "ever" Deer season 1957 & missed 4. 1958 at 16 arrowed my 1st shot & Deer on the ground at 35 yds. Watched her drop.. Now, 6 +decades later I'm still at it & bowhunting, competing with Longbow & compound.

From: Scoot
25-Feb-24
12. Weird small non typical 6 point at 20 yards. Terrible shot but it put him down quickly.

From: pav
25-Feb-24
Opening day of my second deer season...age 19. Bear Whitetail Hunter bow, Easton 2217 arrow and Satellite 125gr broadhead...with fingers.

From: Recurve Man
25-Feb-24
I was 10 when my dad let me start taking my bow. 7 when I started setting in the stand with a sling shot. My dad put me in old wood stands about 10’ off the ground. I can still remember the first doe and yearling walking by. My heart pounded like no other.

Shane

From: BigStriper1
25-Feb-24
1978, I was 24, shot a 7 point buck. It was the first deer I ever shot at, shot was a little over 20 yards. I was using a Bear Polar LTD compound, 55# with Easton XX 75 2117’s. I have a Bow just like the one I used back in 1978 to remind me of what got me started. Shot a compound for 30 years before switching to Recurves and Longbows, hoping to get a deer this year with a Self Bow. It’s sure been a great time. Kurt

From: Basil
25-Feb-24
I was 14 in 1975. Whitetail doe with a fiberglass recurve bought at the local hardware store with night crawler picking money. Been hooked ever since :-)

From: Grey Ghost
25-Feb-24
12 years old. The rancher's son, Lyle, was my same age. Our fathers cut us loose to hunt on our own. We both killed small Mule deer bucks about 200 yards apart, in a deep drainage we call The Forty Dollar Hole. We had watched our fathers gut deer, but this was our first time. Lyle and I made probably 20 trips back and forth between our bucks to discuss how to get the job done, which we finally did. When we hiked back up to find our fathers, they were sitting on an overlook laughing their asses off. They had been watching us the whole time. That was back when parents let their kids find their own way, not hold their hands thru life.

From: Bowaddict
25-Feb-24
Started archery deer hunting at 12(legal age), first deer with bow I was 14. It was a big doe in northern Michigan on public land. I’ve been hooked on archery since I was 10. Lost a lot of arrows those first 2 years until I learned how to calm myself down for the shot! I could never really rifle hunt until later because of the basketball coach and his rules about missing practice. I should have just missed practice:)

From: buckeye
25-Feb-24
20 years ago when I was 23, I bow killed a small doe on public and I was on top of the world. It started my undying love for bowhunting whitetails. I will continue to do so until I'm no longer physically able.

From: casekiska
25-Feb-24

casekiska's embedded Photo
Virginia, 1949. Myself holding a stick bow dad made for me. I was about 5 yo, am 79 now,...been shooting all these years.
casekiska's embedded Photo
Virginia, 1949. Myself holding a stick bow dad made for me. I was about 5 yo, am 79 now,...been shooting all these years.

25-Feb-24
28 for me. Leaning against a tree on the edge of a corn field I shot a forky at 5 yards. Magic.

First 27 years were sadly wasted with small game hunting and fishing.

From: 12yards
25-Feb-24
I think I was 16 or 17. My sophomore or Junior year in high school. Shot a forkhorn with a borrowed Remington 760 Gamemaster pump 30.06. NE of Muskegon, MI.

From: huntr4477
25-Feb-24
I was 15. A 6pt with my Winchester single shot 20 ga. and a punkin' ball.

From: Swampbuck
25-Feb-24
11, got my first doe with grandpa’s marlin 30-30. I still have that gun

From: Old School
25-Feb-24
I believe I was 13. Basket racked 8 pt mid morning came strolling along the edge of a picked cornfield. I was 20 yards back up in the woods in an old wooden treestand. .240 Weatherby one shot and he went down. Remember it like it was yesterday even though it was over 40 yrs ago. Where does the time go…..

From: grape
25-Feb-24
12 years old. Remember it like yesterday. Eight point buck that I hit in the right hind quarter with a 20 gauge bolt action with slugs….My dad was over the next hill. I started screaming, “ I got him, I got him” as I was running after him as he tried to run with only his front legs. My dad met me about the time I caught up to the buck. I was about to finish him when my dad yelled , “ Don’t shoot, Don’t shoot”! My gun barrel was jammed full of mud from me falling I don’t know how many times as I chased the deer. My dad finished him with his 35 Remington………over 60 years ago.

From: Lee
25-Feb-24
14 - bow kill whitetail.

From: buckhammer
25-Feb-24

buckhammer's embedded Photo
buckhammer's embedded Photo
14. I shot a 3pt. running broadside at 40 yards with a Ithaca Model 37 20 gauge. Broke his back. I field dressed the deer by myself and had my dad and our hunting partner help me drag it back to camp.

I was 15 when i shot my first buck with a bow. A 7 pt. was chasing a doe by me at 15 yards. I was in a tree standing on a limb and led him 3 to 4 feet and hit him in the hindquarter and cut the femoral artery. He went 70 yards and piled up. I shot him with an Outers compound bow that i bought at the local Meijer store. A 2117 arrow and a bear broadhead did the job.

Since that time have have taken 65 more whitetail bucks with a firearm and bow.

From: be still
25-Feb-24
Never forget it. 10 yrs old coming out of the ranch we were hunting on in 1985. We seen a doe over there aways and Dad asked if I wanted to shoot it. He rolled down the window in that 98 Oldsmobile car and I leaned across him and shot her out the window. Might have been worked up a bit…aiming for the chest and hit her in the head.

From: Blood
25-Feb-24
17. With a bow. Took me 5 years to finally kill a deer…a nice doe. State land. From a tree stand. On a trail. I had to drag her all the way uphill to my car. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nobody really taught me how to hunt deer. I’m glad I suffered for 5 seasons to kill one. And I’m still suffering bow hunting 34 years later.

From: Will tell
25-Feb-24
12 years old with a 12 gauge Winchester pump shooting rifle slugs. Small 7 point, was 62 years ago near Tionesta.

From: Glunt@work
25-Feb-24
16. Drove myself 4 hours away and spot and stalked antelope for a few days. Blew several stalks each day. Called my boss and got an extra day off (school hadn't started yet). Made a lucky shot on a buck that I guessed was 25 yards but was actually 35. Shooting an all fiberglass Pearson Jet recurve probably under 40#.

From: cnelk
25-Feb-24
11 years old. 1975. Dad said we were out of meat, gave me the 30-30 and sent me out to a stand behind the house.

Shot a button buck that walked by a few minutes later

25-Feb-24
1982-13 years old 6 pt whitey at 40 yards Remington 870 with a 12 gauge slug to the neck…dropped him My dad and his best friend walked up and busted my balls. “ Good thing he was facing north “ I was aiming for the shoulder….so the joke was definitely spot on.

From: VAMtns
25-Feb-24
12 years old , 7 pt with a shotgun , first recurve kill 24 years old

From: BOHNTR
25-Feb-24
12 years old……using a Herters rosewood longbow and port orford cedar shafts. A small 3x3 Blacktail

From: Brian M.
25-Feb-24
Was tracking a deer after it snowed in mid Nov. I finally saw an ear flicker and started stalking it. While I'm following the tracks downhill, three does were walking uphill about 25 yards away. I picked the 3rd in line and fired one shot from my mossberg 500, 12ga. I was 20 yrs old

The following year I bought a compound bow. Missed a few shots and one lost doe over the next 6 years. In 7th year I killed a spike from the ground at 10 yards after missing him low at 15. I still can't believe he didn't see me, my arrow was bouncing on the rest, I was shaking so bad. I was 28.

From: scentman
25-Feb-24
17, 8 pt buck shot with some old single shot Steven's with plastic stock and forearm I found in my uncles closet. 24, first Archery deer with an '82 Brown Bear, small forkhorn... I can still see the shot in my mind. scentman

25-Feb-24
15...using a bear recurve.

25-Feb-24
2004, 12 years old. On my 12th birthday… grandfathers old single shot bolt 12ga with rifle slugs. Man that gun kicked like a mule who’s ass was on fire…

From: scentman
25-Feb-24
Timex, maybe yall fell off that pear tree limb an hit your head, that would explain alot ;0) Love ya brother, good thread. scentman

From: btnbuck
25-Feb-24
1978, I was 13 and got a 6Pt. with a .45cal Kentucky type muzzle loader rifle during an early primitive season (as it was called back then).

1990, I was 25 when I shot my first bow killed deer. A nice 8 pointer (120"). I was sitting in a fencerow on my knees and when I drew my bow (shooting a compound with fingers) The arrow came off the rest and laid over on my left elbow. There I am at full draw, trying to "bounce" the arrow back onto the flipper type rest with my elbow then my little finger. Finally flipped the arrow up and it hit the riser with a "tink" sound and landed on the flipper rest. The deer looked at me and I looked at my sight pin and released. He went 30 yards and fell over and I fell in love with bowhunting. What a rush.

From: Huntiam
25-Feb-24
I had just turned 9 yrs old…I shot both her front legs off with a lever action 94 ,30/30 before I could get a kill shot . Started a fire that’s stronger now than ever 29 yrs later, and many, MANY critters .

25-Feb-24
Two weeks after my 10th birthday in 1971. My grandaddy had cut the front half off a 55 gallon metal drum and attached it 10 feet off the ground to a cluster of red oaks with a steel cable. Cut slits in both sides and ran a 2X6 through it for a seat. It was on a overgrown field edge with a beaver swamp behind me . I may or may not have been scared of the dark by myself in the woods back then but right at dark I heard leaves crunching behind me coming up from that beaver swamp. Like a majestic dream a basket rack 8 point buck appeared at twenty yards. I cranked the hammer back on that old 20 gauge Stevens single barrel with #1 buckshot and all I remember was fire from the barrel. My life was forever changed that day and I've been obsessed every since. Thanks for the memories. P.S. that old rusted out drum still hangs today and I relive that moment every time I go by.

From: grizzly
25-Feb-24
Spent the first year archery hunting at 15 and only saw one deer the whole season. Shot a button buck at 16 with a Bear Polar LTD. I was elated. Shot a doe with a muzzleloader at 18. 45 years later I'm still bowhunting as often as I can. Enjoy rifle hunting as well. Dad never took me deer hunting but he lit the fire.

From: butcherboy
25-Feb-24
I was 11. Shot a mule deer doe on a special youth only hunt. We can’t shoot does which I think is ridiculous. Both my older brothers had already shot their does and we were driving out for the day. Saw 3-4 does right off the dirt road and I jumped out and shot her with a model 70 270 Winchester. Shot my first animal with a bow when I was 14. Hunting a ridge on my own and walked right into a 6X6 bull. Haven’t shot a bigger bull since and it’s been 33 years since then. I’ve never killed a deer with my bow.

From: Huntiam
25-Feb-24
I had just turned 9 yrs old…I shot both her front legs off with a lever action 94 ,30/30 before I could get a kill shot . Started a fire that’s stronger now than ever 29 yrs later, and many, MANY critters .

From: DanaC
25-Feb-24
I was just shy of my 28th birthday. Third year of hunting, took a small doe with a Browning compound. Bitter cold morning, toes were about frozen ;-)

From: Griz
26-Feb-24
1977 in Tioga County, PA. I shot a doe with a Remington 141 Gamemaster, 35 Rem. I was 14. Got seriously into bowhunting around 1990 and took my first bow kill in 1993 with a Fedora Backpacker recurve after a lot of misses. Small 5 point but still a great memory.

From: tobywon
26-Feb-24
17 was my first, a spike with a .50 cal CVA muzzloader, iron sights and patched round ball was the regulation at the time. My first archery deer was a doe, I was still 17 but it was the next year just before my 18th birthday.

From: Supernaut
26-Feb-24

Supernaut's embedded Photo
Supernaut's embedded Photo
1984. I was 12 and killed a doe with a rifle. 12 was the legal age back then here in PA.

1986. I was 14 and killed this buck on the ground at 4 yards, my first deer with a bow. I've been hooked on bow hunting my whole life.

From: APauls
26-Feb-24
13. Doe fawn with a muzzleloader.

From: bowhunter24
26-Feb-24
1985 I was 28, killed an 8pt North MO with Martin Warthog, fingers, Razorbak 5's. I too pulled out the Outdoor life mag clipping on how to field dress a deer. It took 3 years of hunting to get it done but it sure made me appreciate what i had accomplished!

From: Pat Lefemine
26-Feb-24
Killed my first at 20 when I was in college. It was a Connecticut doe. I even got her mounted.

From: JusPassin
26-Feb-24
14 years old, 1964, Brand new Remington 878, 20 yards on the run. Just got out of the pickup 5 minutes earlier.

From: Buskill
26-Feb-24
I think I was 20. My dad quit deer hunting about the time I was born. He grouse hunted a lot so that’s what I did and I assumed I would not like deer hunting. A friend asked me to go one fall and I went ( gun hunt) but killed nothing. Decided to get dads old bow next season. I practiced all summer not realizing how slow and LOUD it was. Missed a few does that season. For next season I got a Mountaineer Archery compound. So much quieter !!!! Killed a small 6 opening day. First deer and with a bow made me awful happy. Shot 2016 Eastons and a 125gr Razorback. Good times.

From: carcus
26-Feb-24
I was 16, killed my first deer/buck with my york bow, autumn orange easton arrow and a razorbak bh

From: StickFlicker
26-Feb-24
14 rifle, 25 bow

From: jjs
26-Feb-24
My first introduction to archery when I was 2yrs old, my brother pushed me down the basement stairs and ram a field point arrow into the roof of my mouth and could say I was bitten ever since, had to take speech therapy if it was called that back in the 50s As 4nolz, I was raised in Iowa with very little deer around the area but started out about 4-5 yrs old with a clubbing rabbits and when I was able to shoot the 15# Shakespeare fiberglass bow I was slinging arrows at squirrels, rabbits, pheasants or feral cats, had a good spot until my brother burned down the old barn, that is another story.

From: KY EyeBow
26-Feb-24
14 yo. Killed a 4 point with my Grandfather's .243 Win. I can still see it like it was yesterday, now 42 years removed.......................

From: Stan Rauch
26-Feb-24
8 years old in 1953, the legal age in SD at the time. A whitetail doe with a 30-30. First archery animal was a whitetail doe in 1959 at age 14.

From: jmiller
26-Feb-24
12 years old, Remington Model 1100 20 gauge shotgun, doe fawn 16 years old, PSE Patriot II bow, adult doe Remember both like yesterday

From: tradi-doerr
27-Feb-24
I killed my first biggame animal, a cow elk in Colorado. I was 14yrs old, that was in 1979 and to start hunting biggame in Colorado at that time you had to be at least 14yrs old or older. I used my Rem 700 BDL in 6mm Rem, open sights. Year after that my first bow kill, small 5x5 ID mulie with a Bear Whitetail hunter.

From: Zim
27-Feb-24
Age 33. My father never hunted, only fished. So I was addicted to walleye fishing from age 8 to 33. Taught myself bow hunting and that’s all I did from age 33 to 60. Since then I do both, now 64.

From: Nyati
27-Feb-24

Nyati 's embedded Photo
Nyati 's embedded Photo
First antlered buck. 1974/1975? I think I was 17 or 18 ? Almost 50 yrs ago We had just started getting deer in southern WV. My first one was a button buck the year before. Shot it on the ground chasing a doe. I was carrying a baker tree stand trying to find a tree when it chased a doe by me. I went down to my knees , laid stand on ground and shot it as it trotted by at 30 yds. It made a circle and died close to where I hit it .

From: elkmtngear
27-Feb-24
15 years old, 3x3 blacktail, with a Jennings Compound bow.

27-Feb-24
24 years old, fresh out of the service. Had my old Browning Nomad deluxe that my stepfather bought me at 14. Public land out east of Norman, Ok., that was bow only. 20 yards shot on a button buck and it was two days before Christmas.

From: deerhunter72
27-Feb-24
12 years old in 1987, opening morning Illinois gun season. Sitting on a log on the ground. We had piled up some brush around to make sort of a ground blind. 7:35 am a small 6 pt came slipping by and I shot him with my grandpas 20ga Breda Brescia. Hit him at the base of the neck and down he went. Only about 15 yards away. Been hooked on killing deer ever since.

One other neat thing about that morning was that my dad was hunting with my brother in a fence row about 400 yards from me. My brother was an absolute deer magnet, but he always got so excited that he never could hit any deer he was shooting at. He had shot several times that morning, all misses. After I shot my deer, I waited about 20 minutes and then walked out of the woods to where they were in the fencerow and standing 50 yards behind them wide open in the field was one of the biggest bodied and racked deer that I have ever seen still to this day. Absolute monster of a deer. All of the action for them had been in the other direction that morning and they never even knew that buck was there. When he saw me, he bolted back towards the woods in the other direction.

From: Rgiesey
27-Feb-24
1975 with a bear grizzly. 18 years old got a big doe near Cadillac Mi

From: midwest
27-Feb-24

midwest's embedded Photo
midwest's embedded Photo
25 years old. I lived in an old 10x50 trailer house with a wood stove in the middle of the timber. I only took up bowhunting to kill the month of October before trapping season opened. I killed this buck from the ground at 35 yards, a short walk from my trailer. Will never forget it.

From: scentman
27-Feb-24
Love the pic Nick ;0)

From: t-roy
28-Feb-24

t-roy's embedded Photo
My first deer
t-roy's embedded Photo
My first deer
Diggin the camo and the “Jones” style cap, Nick!

I was 12 and had my grandpa’s Model 12 12ga, loaded up with 7 slugs. I could barely run the slide on that pump. I was leaned up against a white oak tree halfway down the ridge on Buck’s point. I heard noise up the ridge from me, and spotted the buck headed down to the bottom of the ravine. He stopped, broadside about 50 yds away. I shot and he just started walking up the other side, so I kept slinging lead,, emptying the gun. He got partway up the hill and turned broadside again, fell down and got back up and started walking again. I shoved a couple more slugs in the gun and shot twice more. The buck finally fell, but tried to get back up again, so I ran over to him, stuck another slug in the gun and shot him behind the shoulder, finishing him off. My first shot had hit him through the jugular and windpipe and my last shot was through his vitals. Never touched a hair on him with shots 2 through 9! To this day, I oftentimes walk right past that oak on my way to a couple of my bow stands, and it still brings a smile to my face every time:-)

From: Stan Rauch
28-Feb-24

Stan Rauch's embedded Photo
Stan Rauch's embedded Photo
I was 15 in 1960 when I shot my first archery buck with a 47# Javelina model Ben Pearson bow. Lots of memorable bowhunting adventures since then. I turn 80 later this year and am blessed to still be bowhunting with good health and enthusiasm. At this point I am grateful and content to be hunting deer and antelope with long-time friends.

From: Supernaut
28-Feb-24
Troy, that's a dandy first and a great story!,

Some really nice memories and pics here.

From: air leak
28-Feb-24
I killed my first deer with a 30.06, back in 1977.. A couple of weeks before my 21st birthday..

I was late to the party, didn't start bow hunting until 2010, and killed my first deer, a mature doe, on my 2nd time in the tree.. I was 54..

From: RD
28-Feb-24
Bow hunted the year I was 12 then didn't bow hunt again until 17, First deer with rifle was 16, bow at 19.

From: Shug
28-Feb-24

Shug's embedded Photo
Shug's embedded Photo
Started at 10 took me 6 years to finally kill one… I can remember my uncles flashlight working down towards me in the dark as I sat next to my first deer!!!

I yelled out to him when he was still 50 yards away that I got one when he walked up to me and shined the light on my button buck he said… you shot a baby deer?

From: scentman
28-Feb-24
Great stories and pics to a cool thread, have to love the nostalgia... Stan nice contribution of pic and story, thanks for sharing. scentman

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