This will be kind of a long one, but it was a real special time for me and my son.
Took my oldest son, Isaiah, on his first hunt December 12 in Webb county—a friend of a friend was kind enough to let us hunt on his land. Isaiah had his .243 in tow and had high hopes.
Just after sunrise on our last day at camp, a nice 6-point management buck appeared in the sendero at about 175 yards. Isaiah took some deep breaths, took aim and shot. The buck jumped and ran into the brush. We got out of the blind and found a pool of bright red, bubbly blood in the sendero. After about a ten-minute wait, we started tracking, and we tracked for every bit of two hours. Eventually, the blood trail vanished, and we came up empty.
He was devastated. He tried to hold it in, but he couldn’t contain his disappointment, and began to shed tears. I know he was embarrassed as a 13-year-old being around a bunch of grown men at deer camp and not being able to hold it back. But the guys were all real supportive of him, and told about times they had also lost deer—it can happen to the best of us, they reassured him. I know in the grand scheme of things, losing a deer rates fairly low on the list of bad things that can happen to your son, but as a dad, it sure hurt to see him in such disappointment. I put my hand on his shoulder and promised him this would not be our last hunt. For Christmas, I upgraded him to a Weatherby .7mm-08.
Fast forward to last weekend. Again, a very kind friend of mine let us hunt his 20-acres (which happened to be sandwiched between two 1,000 acre ranches and connects them by a creek that runs through his property). This time, we were much further north, in Parker county. We thought we were gonna get skunked—didn't see so much as a squirrel move all weekend. Then, just before sunset on Sunday, two doe walked out into the pasture at about 150 yards. Followed by an 8-point. Followed by a 10-point. My heart was racing, but Isaiah was as cool as a cucumber. Deep breaths again, and he patiently waited for that 10-point to draw in. Finally, I whispered, “Son, go ahead and take your shot whenev…..” BAM! That 10-point dropped like a sack of potatoes—a perfect heart shot. I’ll never forget the smile on his face when we walked up to it and found it laying in the pasture.
It was an emotional moment for both of us, especially after the disappointment we had experienced in December. I put my hand on his shoulder again, and we gave thanks.
Once I really took a good look at how nice the buck he took really was, I told him the only bad news was that it might a long time downhill from here before he comes across anything that nice again.
Well, that’s all I got. Thanks for reading and thanks for letting me share. I’ve really grown to appreciate all that’s offered on this forum.
PS. I tried to load a pic, but not sure if I'm doing it right. Put it on shutterfly here: https://ourdeerseason.shutterfly.com/pictures/9