Opening weekend sucess...


Preface - I know my son is an anomaly, he has had the patience of an Oak and an interest in nature since birth. By four he knew the anatomy of a deer and was up in the ladder stand with me and inquisitive with all the processing after a harvest, by five he had harvested 5 squirrels with only the aid of the trusty Caldwell Deadshot and my Benjamin .22 pellet rifle, his first deer was a perfect shot shortly after his 6th birthday and 4 comparison his sister is 16 months younger and I have had a bow in her since 2 but at this point, I recognize she may not be ready to legitimately hunt until 12...maybe later unless something changes...she has been in the stand with me and checking cameras since birth but different people and personalities and an acute recognition of development in the process. I don't feel the need to defend allowing my son to actively participate in hunting, with my immediate guidance of course but some background understanding always seems to help open peoples minds when they immediately think of some rambunctious, non safety conscious youth.
I like to document a short story of my children's memorable outdoor adventures in hopes someday down the road I can amass enough to put into a keepsake for them, here is my son's story...

Our archery opener was this Saturday (9/10/2016) so I selfishly went out on my own and subjected myself to the sweltering 90 degree misery and saw the giant I was after just before dark, he was 10 yards away behind a pine tree and outside of my shooting lane so I could do nothing but watch in amazement until he got jittery and hopped into the woods.
After weeks of asking when hunting season would begin I promised Emerson (my son), already a veteran hunter by the ripe old age of 7, he and I would go the next day to a small little cut out in the woods behind our subdivision that I have/am converting into a food plot as a bachelor herd has been visiting it since I mowed down the 6’+ jungle of weeds that was inhabiting it:
It was another hot day, weather called for low 80's but it was 91, reluctantly I climbed into the pop up blind, my son was ecstatic to be out at, around 4:40pm which we nestled in an island of cedars a week prior and it was like a sweat lodge inside.
The wind was perfect, due North, I had ozoned all our clothes and gear so despite the long walk to the blind I was somewhat confident the deer wouldn’t smell us. I Got the tripod and crossbow all situated in front of a corner window and Emerson’s seat positioned behind it and I sat back in my seat for the wait. My window looked in the wrong direction so I told Emerson he would have to tell me if anything came in because I wouldn’t be able to see anything. I had put out a mixture of red clover, wheat and oat seeds the week prior but the chance for rain in the forecast never materialized so the whistling of dove wings landing kept my ears occupied. At 6pm Emerson says, 'a buck is out', I got out of my seat and cautiously peeked out his window and a long framed 6 had come in, Emerson asked if he should shoot and I said we should probably wait for something bigger (look at the 300 blackout thread to see his deer last season), knowing better deer were frequenting the area. 5 minutes later he asked again, I told him he was only allowed one buck this year (he used both of my tags last year) and if that deer would make his heart happy then he could shoot. He thought about it and said he would wait and the deer left shortly after. Around 7:15 Emerson started second guessing his decision saying he probably should have shot and having doubts when a different, narrow, young 6 came out. We could hear sticks snapping in the woods so I told him to keep an eye out as other deer would probably start coming out, about 5 minutes later I saw a decent 8 walk right by the corner of Emerson’s window that was visible to me not even 10 yards away. Emerson said there was a big one and he wanted to shoot, I thought he was talking about the 6 or 8 and told him to hold off, a few minutes later again he said 'he is big' so I got out of my seat and looked out his window, to my amazement 15 yards in front of him broadside was the 10pt I was hoping we would encounter. I couldn’t believe it, not only was the buck we were after right in front of us but there were 4 others out in the field! “Shoot” I whispered and as Emerson got ready the 10 suddenly charged one of the smaller bucks and ran him into the woods, the buck turned back around and started walking back towards us but then a tall 8 emerged 10 yards right in front us. “I can shoot him” Emerson said. ‘Let’s try for the 10’ I replied, ‘Can you still shoot?’ I asked.

“No, I can only see the tent in the scope now.” Emerson said, so I looked back out his window and the buck was too far left so I grabbed the tripod, and started to reposition it to the point where one of the legs was actually going outside the tent lifting up the side wall, praying the 5 sets of eyes in front of us didn’t notice.

“I can see him now” Emerson whispered. I told him to wait until he is broadside and to remember, right behind the leg (pic moments before the shot).
Light was fading as we only had a few more minutes of legal light, I just held on to the tripod trying to keep it steady, staring at the tent wall waiting with anxious anticipation when I heard the bolt release and the tell tale “Whack” we all live for.
After a quick confirmation, 'was he broadside, did you squeeze the trigger when the dot was behind the shoulder?', an exchange of high fives and hugs ensued as we get out of the tent when I heard a distant crash in the woods. A quick prayer was said, thankful for the opportunity bestowed upon us, when we went to go and look for blood and after a brief search found the trail, which luckily was a red carpet and easy to follow, the rest is history…definitely a hunt to remember and blessed for the opportunity.
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After a long drag out...
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Story wasn't as good with out the visuals! Should be set least I can see it how I thought I originally had it posted.
With no sports or after school activities scheduled and sibling rivalry in full force recently, my 6 year old wanted to go out hunting today. I pleaded for her to consider us going Friday instead as conditions would be much more favorable for a better location but she would have none of it and wanted to go TODAY, how can I say no to that. After loading a bag with snacks I grabbed my bow and we were going to a box blind to see what we could see.

I love my daughter with all my heart and her never ending enthusiasm always brings a smile to my face but patience is not her strongest suit, after the assortment of delectable snacks I packed were depleted and us not seeing so much as a squirrel in the 1 hour we were out, she said she was hot and wanted to go back home. My inside voice was screaming ‘Hallelujah’ as it was way too hot and stuffy in the blind and I had no intention of cleaning another deer in this weather so as we got back into the house, we opened the fridge to grab something to drink, my daughter looked at Emerson’s deer aging and said ‘We may not have shot a deer tonight but we can still eat one.’
Can’t argue with that logic.
As Paul Harvey would say, ‘And now you know the rest of the story’.