Passing on the memories and adventures of the outdoors and hunting is a family tradition. I remember when my dad shared this with me. I was nine years old and very excited to go out with my dad deer hunting and learn about the outdoors. It started with my dad getting me out of school at 2:00 pm so we would have time to get ready and not have to rush to get to our spot. When we arrived and found a place to sit, I started to ask questions and dad told me about hunting and showed me how to use the deer calls.
We sat there for awhile; dad had to keep getting after me because I didn’t get the concept of sitting still and staying quiet. As my dad tried to keep me still and quiet he looked up into the field and saw a deer standing with its head down eating. He looked at me and told me there was a deer and showed me where it was. I sat still and quiet and watched the deer, when the deer raised its head we both got excited it was an 8pt buck. My dad told me to cover my ears and sit still because he was going to shoot it. I sat staring at the deer and my dad waiting to see what was going to happen. My dad fired his gun and told me to stay there, he ran to where the deer was standing to look for a sign of blood or hair to tell if he made a good shot.
He told me it was ok to come out and look; we looked for a couple of minutes and found no sign that the deer was hit. I was disappointed that we didn’t get the deer. My dad knowing this sat me down and explained to me that missing a deer happens to everybody. He also taught me about scouting and looking for deer sign such as scraps, rubs, tracks and trails. After practicing with my shotgun over the next year I was finally ready to carry my shotgun and go hunting.My dad and I had been watching a group of does in our neighbors hay field every evening. So we planned for an afternoon hunt.
We sat in the edge of the woods and waited for the deer to enter the field and feed. It was a cold wet day and had just stopped raining when instead of does, a six point buck walked out into the field. I got very excited and started breathing heavily which at that time I didn’t know that’s what they call buck fever.. We sat watching and waiting for it to turn and offer me a shot, but unfortunately the deer walk away from us and back into the woods, we never saw him again. The next day hoping to see him again we move to the other corner of the field, we sat waiting patiently when next to us four deer walked out. We watched them for a few minutes until one offered me a shot.
Once again I became very excited and breathing heavy, my dad told me to take my time and pull the trigger slowly. I pulled the trigger slow and steady making sure I had the sights on the deer. When the gun went off and I looked into the field I saw my first deer lying on the ground. My dad and I jumped up and ran out to see it. It was a button buck and I felt as if it was a world record. My dad was very excited and for that whole week couldn’t stop talking about it. We drug it to the truck and took pictures, then loaded it up and went home to show my mom and little sister what I killed. They were happy for me and congratulated me on my first deer.
As a family we spend a lot of time in the outdoors doing things other than hunting such as fishing, canoeing, camping and just spending time shooting our different guns and bows. I enjoy being able to spend time outside and in nature, I have learned many things about the hunting tradition and the opportunities it has to offer. Now that I have grown up and have been hunting for several years I have learned from my mistakes and I have taken the tips and lessons from my dad seriously.
In the future when I become a father I look forward to being able to pass on to my children all the things that my father taught me. The hunting tradition is something that more people need to pass on to others and their children to protect our hunting traditions.