-By Rich Miller
Yesterday afternoon I had one of the best hunts of my life. I have only been home from Kansas for just a couple of days and I was trying to spend as much time with my son as possible. When I got home we checked my game camera to see if any new bucks had shown up while I was gone. I had several pictures of different bucks that I had never seen before, but there was one in particular with a weird looking rack that looked to be a shooter. I really wanted to get to the woods and maybe get a shot at this buck that we nicknamed “The Freak”.
Well after being gone for nine days my little boy didn’t want to get very far away from his dad so I decided to take him to the deer stand with me. We have a big box stand built we call the “press box” that we could get in and he could play in the floor. I figured we could make it about an hour or so without him getting too bored. Now, my son “Tye” isn’t but 18 months old and this was his first trip to the woods to hunt with me. The temperature wasn’t too bad and with us being in the box, I didn’t have to worry about him getting too cold. Once we got settle in the box everything was going pretty well. He wanted to look out the windows of the box like he knew what we were looking for. After a little while he started walking around and talking constantly. I was trying everything to get him to not talk so loud. I let him look through my binoculars on occasion, but that wouldn’t last long either.
So after trying everything to keep him quiet, I decided to give him a grunt call to play with figuring if he was going to be making noises it might as well be deer sounds. While he was sitting on the floor blowing on that grunt call, I was trying to look for deer. When I looked up, there was a deer feeding in the food plot. Through my binoculars I could see it was a doe. All of a sudden I saw a deer in the background jump into the field, and for the split second that I saw it he looked to have a really good rack. There was a rise in the field and I couldn’t see the deer until he raised his head, and when he did I could tell that it was the “Freak”!
Well needless to say I laid the binoculars down and went to pick up my rifle. The next thing I had to worry about was how Tye would react when I fired my rifle. I put his stocking hat on his head and sat him in the corner. When I got ready to shoot I had the rifle positioned outside the window so it wouldn’t be too loud in the box. After all this, the buck had fed out into the open and was positioned perfectly for a shot. When I fired, the buck hit the ground instantly.
The first thing I did was look down at Tye. He was standing there looking up at me with this look on his face that said, “Well pick me up already, I can’t see from down here!” I got him and our stuff packed up and we headed to see our 1st deer together. Once we got to the deer, Tye was completely excited. I guess he was feeding off my excitement. He wanted to get down to touch the buck and look at it.
You know, I have taken deer a lot bigger than this buck, but having my son with me when I got him is something I will never forget. I can’t imagine what it is going to be like when Tye is the one actually doing the shooting. As torn up as I got just having him with me, I am going to have to get paramedics to standing by when he takes his first deer. I highly recommend taking introducing your kids to the outdoors, it makes hunting that much more enjoyable.