A few years back, my son Christian took his hunter safety class with several of his friends and passed with the highest score in the class (which made me very proud). It was too late that year to get him into the draw for a hunt here in New Mexico so I talked to a couple of clients that have a lease in Texas that has whitetail deer and axis deer on it. These guys had invited me to come hunt with them in Texas so I asked if I could bring my son and the other three kids that went through the hunter safety class together and they said of course. So four kids (two boys and two girls), all 10 or 11 years old, and three dads loaded up and went to Texas.
To get ready for this hunt, the other dads and I took all the kids out to target practice; we worked on shooting and being safe in the field and other aspects of hunting. This time alone was a great time for us dads to spend with our kids doing things we normally don’t do.
But the hunt is a time I will always remember. We got into camp on Thursday night and got set up to start hunting on Friday. Friday morning came early as we all headed out to our stands. We all saw a lot of whitetail and turkeys, but we were hunting axis deer and that morning no one had any opportunities. During the middle of the day we went out driving to see if we could find something; as we drove down the road not far from camp we spotted a herd of axis and Christian and I jumped out and went after them. We tried to follow them but could not find them in the thick juniper trees, but as we worked down the hill we heard something a few hundred yards in front of us. We got to a spot where we could see and saw the deer coming out of a wash. We watched but so far everything was does and finally I saw two bucks. Christian got his rifle set up on the shooting sticks and I said “take the second one when he stops.” Just as they got to the top of the wash, they stopped and Christian shot. The deer fell over and rolled down the hill. We hugged, gave each other high fives, and went to see his deer.
George and Sophie – two of the other kids – both killed nice deer; Emily did not get a chance at one, but for the other dads and I and these four kids the first hunting trip will always be a memory we all treasure.