Last year we started indoctrinating our almost 6 yr old Grandson, in preparation for the upcoming Deer Season, by watching as much of the WHISPER CHANNELS with him that we could. Carefully explaining to him that the hunters were WHISPERING to keep from scaring the Antelope, Bear, Deer, Elk or Turkey, away. We explained that hunting was a lot different than fishing as you had to be very quiet. So after many hours of watching the Pursuit, Sportsman’s, and Outdoor Channels, we were convinced that he had this down. Boy were we in for a surprise!
After many, many times of him asking, “WHEN ARE WE GOING DEER HUNTING”, the opportunity finally arose that his father had the time off to accompany me on a trip to the Deer Woods. Our Hunting spot is approximately a 4-1/2 hour drive from the house, and I can attest that the trip was full of questions and observations by our now resident expert on Deer Hunting. Upon arriving at the camp, he immediately changed his wardrobe and came walking out Camo’d from head to toe, Exclaiming we are ready to go! I told him that we would be going in the morning since it was dark now and we don’t hunt Deer after Dark. The disappointed look on his face caused me to promise that we would take the Mule and ride across the property to see some Deer. After a quick bite to eat he was sitting in the mule ready to go.
We made a trip across the property and managed to catch a few Does out browsing, which only accelerated his excitement. There were quite a few elbows in my ribs and him excitedly pointing out the Deer. Upon arrival back at the camp and setting the alarm, we attempted to get some sleep. I soon found that this was impossible as the short trip across the property along with the Deer sightings was worse than an all day all sugar diet. He was bouncing off the walls. I finally promised him that if he would just go to sleep we would be out before daylight and he would sit in the blind with his father and I would film his hunt from the top of the hill. We did not need the alarm as he woke me at 2:00 AM and 3:00 AM and 4:00 AM and every 10 minutes there after until I got up and dressed.
After a very quick bowl of cereal we loaded up and headed out. Situated my Son-in Law and Grandson in the Blind and I proceeded up the hill to an overlook and settled down to wait. My lifetime hunting partner also accompanied us on this trip and he was in his blind, which was close enough to watch while still being a safe distance away. ( We all know where everybody is hunting and position our blinds so we will not endanger anyone as we have a NSZ area between us that is a No Shoot ZONE) Right at Dawn the Deer Started moving and it didn’t take long before a big Doe walked in front of the stand and started grazing on the acorn mast from the scattered live oaks. Then a nice 8 point buck stepped out, showing interest in the Doe! When the Grandon could only see the Doe, he was patient and WHISPERING up a storm to his father. BUT WHEN THE BUCK STEPPED out his excitement level multiplied exponentially, to say the least! He was patient for about 30 seconds and just at the moment his father reached over to lift the rifle, THE GRANDSON leaped up and leaned out the window of the Blind and Pointed at the BUCK, Screaming at the top of his little lungs, SHOOT HIM DADDY, HE IS RIGHT THERE!
Needless to say, the BUCK and DOE, being the aware animals that they are, Quickly realized that something was amiss. And in an instant, they both bounded away, I was laughing so hard that I didn’t get any of it on film, and my hunting partner, just crawled out of his blind with his hands on his hips bent over laughing at the spectacle that had just unfolded before him. They settled down after a while and returned to the blinds, had a few more sightings but only glimpses of the animals with no clean kill shots available.
After a couple of hours of this and the Grandson’s adrenalin level being extremely elevated we called it a morning. My hunting partner fired up the Mule and went over to pick up the two woebegone hunters and then headed up the hill to pick me up. When they got to the top of the hill, I could see a broad smile on My Partners Face and he was exercising a lot of effort to keep from bursting out laughing. I asked, “What are you grinning like a Cheshire Cat about”? He responded, “Aw, Nothing right now” almost giggling. When we were alone together, he said the Grandson, on the ride over to pick me up, was sitting between him and his father, looked up at his Dad, and with extreme disdain in his little voice, said “You know Daddy, You messed up, You could have harvested that DEER, He was right THERE, I even pointed him out for YOU, you are gonna have to be quicker next time, because Grandpa would have got him!” I am here to tell you that we have spent many more hours watching the Whisper Channel this year and I hope we have him programmed to wait until after the opportunity before he succumbs to the excitement of the moment. But he is still young and has the future in front of him as I know I made enough mistakes when I was young to write a book about what not to do! So if the good LORD is willing I will have many more trips with him in my attempts to mold him into a SAFE and ETHICAL HUNTER!
Hunt Safely, Legally, Ethically, and take the next generation with you as the precious moments they can give you are more rewarding than anything else.