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It's never too late! (a bit long)

As my last post denoted, I've been shooting a lot more deer, but with my camera. The reason? My 2 boys have decided they want to hunt. My youngest, Matt, is 29 and has killed a few deer. Billy my oldest shot his 1st last year at 33.  Matt has never "hunted" per se but he has killed a good bit. I've always been in the stand with him and I was with Billy last year. I take most of the blame for the situation as I was still a kid when Billy was born(20) and was too busy playing to worry about the boys. Their mom raised them when they were young and I truly regret it.  That being said I'm doing my best to at least teach them some things I should have taught them many years ago. So I decided they need there own gun. They have always just shot mine in the past. I just happened to have a 243 I bought from someone at sometime. Brand new Winchester with the tags still on it. I think it was built in the 70s. I helped my oldest pick out a scope, which he purchased. He and I loaded some cartridges and took it to the range and sited it in.  Now they have their own gun.

I've been "scouting" all season. Making sure I know where and when our best chances will be. The weather was right Tuesday and I asked my oldest if he wanted to slip out and go. It was his day off (he's a pharmacist). I left it totally up to him as I didn't want him to feel pressured as I have pressured them in the past to do things I wanted to do, rather than what we wanted to do.  He said sure and actually  pushed me to go as I was not that fired up about it.

We got to the tower and started watching for deer, in between looking at our smart phones. I was hoping with the weather the deer would move early. It was really wet from the recent rain and we were gonna have a LONG drag to the truck. We saw a few deer at the far end away from the truck and decided to be patient.  A young doe came through the cotton field and got a pass.  Pretty close to the end of legal shooting light a large doe entered the field. He couldn't see her, but I could. I told him to be patient as she would be in his view soon.  She came into view. I told him "it's your call". It was late and we'd have a 400 yard drag I reminded him.  He drew down on her twice and raised up from the scope, trying to slow his heart rate. I could here his breathing. I smiled a bit as that's the one thing I really miss these days about hunting. I guess you just lose that after so many. He drew down the 3rd time, patiently controlled his pull and... POP-BOOM! It was a solid hit. She donkey kicked and stumbled behind an "island" in the field and out of site. I knew she hadn't went far. 

We went to the truck and dumped our gear and coats as I knew we wouldn't be cold shortly.  I stood there holding my gun, "I should take it just in case" I said. I decided against it as I knew the shot was good and I didn't want to deal with it during the long drag.  We went to the spot and against my normal process of locating blood I simply walked into the wood edge. She hadn't went 50 yards. It was a good, humane harvest. I used an old safety harness as a drag and we had her to the truck after Many, many stops to rest. It really wasn't as bad as I expected. Dropped her at the processor and headed home.  It was a great evening. Fellowship and a clean harvest that we'll be able to remember every time we sit down to enjoy the venison.

Now to get "Matty" my youngest  on the board when he's here for Christmas. 

On another note, I'm so happy I got my butt into shape 8 years ago and I'm able to enjoy these times with my boys. I can still be the leader and not a burden when we're in the field. Thanks CrossFit.

Lastly, I'm not the killer I once was.  There was a time when I wanted to kill every deer I saw. It was blood lust no doubt. I wrote it off as the genetic drive we are born with but I think ego came into play as well. I did love the kill. I think the paradigm shifted for me when I lost my father. It broke me(as I tear up even now). As I cried in bed my wife actually said "it's good to see that you actually have emotions".  She meant it in a good way I know.  I value life. All life. Maybe getting older and more intimate with my mortality is a factor as well.  Most times now before I pull the trigger, or let fly the arrow, I've had a little pep talk of logic with myself. Reminding myself that I'm a meat eater, that it's not reality to let someone else do your dirty work. Oddly enough Pontius pilot always come to mind.  You can't wash your hands of the killing and then sit down at the table.  Ok, you can, but you shouldn't.

I'm proud that my boys have that appreciation for life way earlier that I did. I'm sure it came from their mother.

Anyway I've rambled enough. Next step is to actually teach them to hunt.

They have the killing part down.


  • SpineymanSpineyman Posts: 8,377 Admiral
    Good job and His mercies are new every morning! Time indeed has a way of humbling most of us.
    Kayak Rookie...and loving it.
    Fishing beautiful Destin / Ft Walton Beach area!

    II Chronicles 7:14
    if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

  • brotherinlawbrotherinlaw Posts: 3,928 Captain
    Good job Billy. I'm proud for both of ya'll. Tell "little Billy" I said it's about time.
  • micci_manmicci_man Posts: 15,027 AG

    Congrats to your boy!! It doesn't get much better than this Billy and it's never too late to realize when we have not done things that we know we should have done long ago, regardless of what they are. I'm guilty as well. You have my upmost respect for getting those boys in the woods and teaching them how to hunt. You are 100% correct, it's not too late. Many men call hunting sitting in a stand and waiting to get lucky if a deer happens to walk by and a chance to take a shot. Learning/reading deer sign doesn't come from a book. If they are willing and want to learn, you have the knowledge to teach them I'm quite confident.

    Now, get to making many more memories!

    When I was younger it was a number game to me as well. How many can I kill this season?!?!? They did all get eaten though. Now that I'm older I just really enjoy being in/on the woods/water and watching God's creations come to life each morning and going to bed each night. Heck, I think I've only killed 2 bucks in the last 5 years but I will squeeze off on the right one when I get the gumption. My girls ore older and doing their own thing now between work, school and friends and time in the stand with ole dad isn't as often as it once was and I do truly miss that.

    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • illinoisfishermanillinoisfisherman Posts: 5,724 Admiral

    Great! I guess we all learn to enjoy watching our children and grandchildren take up the sports we once were passionate about. Good job Billy !!!

    We are getting everyone shotguns for Christmas that is old enough. (Found a deal on Mossberg pumps in 20 & 12 that we couldn't pass on.)

    The read would have been better if I didn't have a big white "Florida Sportsman" column blocking a good part of it. This thing has got to be contributing to the loss of membership and participation on here. It SUKS.

  • FamilyfisherFamilyfisher Posts: 3,235 Captain
    I'm glad you're taking this time with the boys.  I know we've had this discussion in the past.  You're a fortunate man indeed.  You are exactly right in that it's better late than never to make good memories with your dad or your sons.
    Proverbs 13:3
  • ferris1248ferris1248 Posts: 27,298 Moderator
    Thank you for sharing that Billy. Part of the process of growing up is admitting your faults AND correcting them. You'll find your self doing it most of your adult life if you're wise. I still do and I'll be 70 next time around.

    I'm proud of you and I'm also glad.

    "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole of the law. The rest is commentary."

    Rabbi Hillel (c20 BCE)

  • stc1993stc1993 Posts: 10,859 AG
    As y'all both are older it's better as they tend to understand things better.

    I'm not talking just about hunting.  
  • skyway andeskyway ande Posts: 3,807 Captain
    Awesome report.
    God, save the South!
  • MulletMullet Posts: 2,445 Moderator
    Junior let this one walk Sunday a.m.  He had the swing away but he realized from our discussions the buck was young and had potential. Really proud of him.
  • micci_manmicci_man Posts: 15,027 AG
    Is that a lump/knot behind the shoulder down low?
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • MulletMullet Posts: 2,445 Moderator
    not sure. it wasn't visible in person. he looked healthy.

  • micci_manmicci_man Posts: 15,027 AG
    Pretty buck. He'll be a good one.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
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