When your son leaves his college paper on your laptop you just have to take advantage of it. Especially when he admits you’re right about something. Here’s a story my son wrote that might interest you if you hunt. He’s gonna kill me when he sees this.
Thanksgiving week in 2010 was one of the most memorable times in my life. Hunting this week showed me that even if I didn’t believe my dad or understand his reasoning, he was often right. I had been hunting since I was five years old. When I was young, my dad would sit with me and tell stories from when he hunted as a kid. We would play cards and just have fun. Little did I know that this time we were spending together would eventually result in me becoming an experienced hunter at an early age. Thanksgiving week 2010 would be the first time I would be hunting alone, and not have my dad there to tell me what to do. I would either have to do what he had taught me or just rely on my inexperienced self.
Finally, the week we had been waiting for came. My sister and I were out of school for Thanksgiving break. My dad was on vacation the whole week and planned to hunt every day we could. We got to the woods about an hour after daylight. I was surprised when I discovered that my dad was going to let me hunt alone while he took my sister to another stand. He walked me to my stand, and I climbed up. It was a stand that we built together out of fence posts and scrap wood. My dad prayed with me, and turned to go. As he disappeared into the distance, I realized that I had entered into a new chapter of hunting. I was all alone. There would be no more stories or advice from my dad to pass the time.
I sat quietly in the stand by myself and just gazed into the woods. After about twenty minutes of sitting, I had to do something. I pulled my beef jerky and Yoohoo out of my backpack and began to snack on them. While I was eating, I looked up and right before me was one of the biggest bucks I had ever seen in my life. I began to shake nervously and slowly recall the instructions my dad had given me if ever in this circumstance. I picked up my gun and stuck it through the window of the box stand. The words of my dad, telling me to slowly pull the trigger and not jerk the gun, spun around my head as I looked at the deer through my scope. I set the cross-arrows right behind the deer’s shoulder and fired.
A still hush fell upon the woods after the shot. The deer turned and ran down the lane. I thought I blew it and missed the biggest deer of my life. All of the practice I put in and I had missed. I began to tear up and lay my head down. After some time I looked up and saw my dad and sister walking down the lane towards me. They had heard me shoot and were excited to see what happened. The excitement quickly left them as they saw my head hanging and the tears in my eyes. I missed the biggest buck of my life. I started at the beginning and explained every detail of the hunt to my dad. After I finished my story, my dad was convinced I did shoot the big buck. He continuously asked me to go look for it. I looked at him multiple times and assured him there was no reason to look for it because I knew I missed the deer. My dad finally quit pleading with me and began to walk toward the truck. I did not believe he was right and would not listen to him.
As we loaded back up in my dad’s truck the only thing I could think about was the deer. I replayed the morning in my mind over and over again. I was depressed all day long. Later that evening, my dad asked if I wanted to go hunting the next morning. Pouting and feeling sorry for myself, I quickly responded with a no. Eventually, I came to my senses and agreed to go hunting again the next day.
First thing the next morning, I heard my dad say in a loud voice, “Son, get up.” I quickly put on my camo and headed for the truck. We arrived in the woods right before daylight and headed to the same deer stand I sat in the day before. As the sun began to rise, a doe came out in about the same place as the day before. I quickly grabbed my gun and pointed it toward the deer. My dad coached me through the whole thing. I took the shot. Bang! The deer took off, and I knew I hit it. We made our way to the spot where I shot and began to search for the wounded deer in the brush. After searching for about thirty minutes, I gave up and started to sulk. I stopped searching and walked away hopelessly while my dad continued to look for the doe. Suddenly, I could not believe my eyes. I slowly walked over to the side of the road to get a better look. It was the big buck I had shot the previous day. I began screaming loudly, as my dad hurried to see what the noise was all about. We both celebrated an important milestone in my life. The only problem was the deer had spoiled. I was not able to harvest the meat or get the deer mounted. As we were riding home, my dad said, “Son, if you would have just listened and searched yesterday we would have found him.” My dad was right all along. I learned a valuable lesson that day. When it comes to hunting, my dad is always right.