Going hunting changes over time for all of us. It also becomes better and more fun. As we age, our goal shifts from filling our tags to showing others how to fill theirs. Passing along the traditions and skills of hunting is our responsibility.
A few falls ago, my son Kyle, was working so hard that he couldn’t find the time to hunt deer. I was tagged out but still was excited to be in the field. I talked my son into a last day of the season deer hunt! We started the hunt in a ground blind where I had harvested a huge mule deer buck a few weeks earlier. Several bucks made an appearance but none were “quite right”.
As the day progressed, Kyle started to get ready to quit. “Dad, it is the last day and all of the good bucks are gone!” I took him to an overlook where we could glass. After several minutes of glassing, Kyle was ready to “wuss out”! Just as he was whining about being too tired and cold, I saw a herd of Mulies! “Kyle, we need to move now!”
After a quick run of a few hundred yards, we stalked close to the coulie where I had seen the herd of deer. Three were huge mulie bucks! Kyle was suddenly the hunter I was proud to call my Son. He adjusted the bipod on his rifle and scanned for the 3 mulie bucks. I was the spotter and range finder.
“300 yards and going away” I told Kyle. This was an easy shot for Kyle but….. a whitey buck was coming straight at us! Kyle had shot impressive Monster mule deer bucks in the past but not a great whitetail. “Dad, I think I want to tag this whitey!”
The 3 mulies and herd of does moved over the ridge but the great whitetail buck was chasing a doe closer. “200, 150, 100 yards, get ready to shoot”. Just as Kyle was ready to squeeze the trigger, the buck jumped a fence and was on his way uphill to the field. Kyle had the smarts and patience to wait. When the buck reached the field, he made his one best shot. His perfect shot laid the buck in a place where we could drive the 4 wheeler. Kyle’s tag was filled in the last minutes of the last day of a great day of hunting. All of the training and lessons had paid off. Kyle had tagged his best whitetail ever and we did it together!
Find a Buddy and give them the gift of hunting. Hunting is just the excuse to do things together. As we get tangled into life’s challenges and distractions, it takes more effort to spend quality time together. On this day, my Son and I shared a special moment that was truly the “Best Hunt!”
I am looking forward to this year!