But for my crowd, deer hunting follows in a close second. I used to be a big hunter before the kids came along, but after that I throttled back my extracurricular pursuits.
Now, the kids are all over deer hunting, so I get to pull out my old bag of tricks. And I’m glad, now I can say that I’m spending quality time with the kids, and I am!
I took my son for the first time two years ago. I did not want to get his hopes up, so I made sure to tell him that you have to work really hard, be really patient, don’t get discouraged, blah blah blah. A half an hour after getting into the stand I saw a large doe step out, and was thinking she’d be a good one for a first deer. Then I noticed she was glancing back into the woods, so I waited several seconds. Out stepped a big buck, totally focused on her. I nudged my son Daniel, who was looking the other way. I cocked the hammer, slid the gun into his lap, and told him to shoot just like we’d practiced. He raised the gun, looked through the scope, and began to shake. Buck fever! He started breathing so hard, huffing like a steam engine, that I thought the deer would hear him. Then he began to shake his head “no”, and slid the gun back into my lap. He said “Daddy, you shoot it.” We talked in hushed tones for a few seconds, as I watched the buck only 50 yards away. He was sure that he couldn’t shoot, he was so excited he was shivering. The buck looked like he was getting uncomfortable, so when he turned his head toward the doe I raised, swung, centered, and shot all in one motion. He jumped, ran in a circle, and dropped 30 yards away. But I had to grab Daniel by the seat of his pants, he almost flew out of a 25 foot high ladder stand just to get to the deer. He was dancing all around it, holding the horns, laughing, it was a very special moment for us.
It was good that it was not his first buck, he’d have to hunt along time before he got another one this good. And it was big for Alabama, about 205 lbs., and fed us nearly all year long with ground meat, chops, and tenderloin. And Daniel did get a nice doe last year after all.
Not to be out done, my daughter went last year as well. She did not get one though, but we’re getting ready now. She asked me to pick up a box of reduced recoil 30-30 loads for her, she wants to start shooting targets next weekend! She’s gonna get a deer! Yep, I’m living in Alabama, and have raised redneck babies. I don’t have a southern accent, but they do. I blame it on the neighbors 🙂
Things could be worse.