The First Deer is Always a Trophy
The only thing better than spending time in the woods, is spending time in the woods with my two sons. On December 17th 2007 my 5 yr old was beaming with excitement about sitting in the stand with Daddy on this cool afternoon. Weston probably loves the outdoors already more than I do. He can sit longer and more quieter than most grown men I know. The whole way to the stand I bet I answered 100 questions my little man had for me. How many deer will we see, how big will they be, and anything else that runs through a curious 5 yr olds mind. The club that we are in has an 8 pt rule. And I had fell into the big buck status right with them. My grand father told me once that a trophy is in the eyes of the beholder. But on this afternoon I had forgotten that. I had my 30.06 and Weston was carrying his .22 cricket that he was very confident in. We finally made it to the stand about 5:00 that afternoon, which gave us about 2 hrs of good daylight.
We sat in a double stand that I had purchased just for me and my boys. About 6:00 we had 3 does feeding less than 30 yds from the stand. Weston begged me to let him take a shot, but all that ran through my head was what would all the big trophy hunters think when we brought a doe back to camp. Weston didn't understand this , All he knew was we were deer hunting and there were deer in front of him. I finally convinced him to wait on a bigger buck. And with major disappointment he reluctantly agreed. As the does were feeding off Weston heard something to our left.....(man what I would give to have his ears). Out stepped a basket rack 6pt. Weston's eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. He said Daddy look its a buck.....and you said I could shoot one. And still all I could think about were the boys at camp, totally disregarding the tug on my boys heart strings. I told him he was kind of small and that we should, again, wait on a bigger one. He agreed. My heart was now breaking along with his. I can even feel the knots in my stomach building as I write this story. I looked down and seen a single tear making its way to the collar of my little hunters shirt. He had done everything that daddy had told him too. Practiced all summer in the pasture with his rifle, put his camo on , sprayed it with scent killer, snuck into the stand , and sat there patiently waiting! And now his best friend was standing in the way of a dream come true.
My heart sank as the 6 pt grazed off into the brush. Then it hit me.....who cares what a bunch of want to be Bill Jordan think about me and my little buddy. This is our time to make memories and I had let a bunch of no ones stand in our way. I immediately apologized to Weston and begged for his forgiveness. He forgave me as he always does. I told him that if I could grunt that monster back in, that he could shoot him! He again lit up with confidence and reassured me that I could do it. So I sat Weston in my lap so he could reach the shooting rest with better ease. Then I told Weston he was shooting a smaller caliber and that he would have to place the bullet right between the eyes. Which I honestly had no doubt in him doing, he had put the practice in. So I began to grunt, and to my disbelief, here he came! 100 yds and closing fast , I put the grunt call down and tried to make Weston more comfortable, and told him not to look at the horns. I'm not sure who was more nervous, Weston or I. We were both shaking like a leaf. I whispered to him to take his time and squeeze the trigger. The deer was now at 25 yds. I felt Weston take a deep breath and let it out , just like he was taught. He squeezed off and the deer wheeled and ran right past the stand. Weston started hollering.....I hit him.....I hit him. I think he was looking at the horns and shot right through them. He was so excited about what had just happened, the miss didn't really bother him that much.
I learned one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned in the woods that day! I'm not a pro hunter and neither is my son. Even though I would have broken the rules of our club that day, it would have been worth it. Weston got a .243 for his birthday this year and is already a seasoned marksman with it. And I will do everything in my power to make sure this is the year he takes his first deer. Luckily Weston has forgiven me for my unacceptable behavior that day. And I will never try to tell another person what a trophy is. Papa I know what you meant now about a trophy being in the eyes of the beholder. Wish us luck.........hopefully this story hasn't ended yet !
To be continued.....................
Submitted by TK Worley
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