First of all let me tell you that I have been taking my stepson hunting with me on opening morning for the last 5 yrs. He is 13 yrs old and I feel that it important to take the time out of my life to include him in the traditions of hunting.
I begin the morning hunt by explaining, yet again, that we are hunting..... If we cannot be stealth, and limit our twitches, coughs, farts, sneezes and convulsions, Then we are not HUNTING.... we are going for a walk in the woods and one of us is carrying a gun. [:)] And true to a 13 year old, my entire heart felt lecture goes in one ear and out the other.[:@]
We hastily get to our morning spot and wait for the sun to rise. There is nothing like being in the hardwoods when the earth wakes up for the day. As the morning sun casts color onto the scenery in front of us we can see the shapes of the "unknown" take their place in the woods. "oh, that is a stump" and "Oh, that is a fallen limb" And with 50% of us being absolutely still, and 50% of us being absolutely quiet, Nothing comes our way that we can put a tag on.
At 10am we change plans and go to the 70 acre field that is spotted with poplar trees and apple trees. And numerous pile of old field stone. We set up behind some cover and put on alittle "Whitetail Theater" We rattle and grunt and bleat and rattle some more. And low and behold.......... In walks this 2 1/2 yr old 4 pt. He walks a frozen rope to within 15 yrds. He is looking around trying to figure out what to do. And I can not believe that 100% of us are being quiet, and 100% of us are still. My stepson and I watch as this beautiful deer just....walks away. He looks at me, and I at him, and I refer to my Responsible Adult to Juvenile Dictionary and I quote a phrase that I remember from the pages. I say to him..... " that was cool." He says "yea."
As we are walking back to the truck to take the 50% of us that is cold, back home to his mother, I cant help but think......somebody had to greatly decrease their chances of having a successful hunt by taking me into the woods with them when I was young. When I was a beginner..... I am certain that I sounded like a elephant going through the woods. If there was a twig to "snap" You bet your booty I could find it. And i would snap it louder than anyone. Nobody could make fallen leaves under your feet sound like you were walking on potato chips better than I could.
I sat there waiting for him to get in the truck thinking, "Am I getting through to this kid??" The whole drive home I am thinking of little things that would give me a hint that he is catching on.....NOTHING comes to mind. We didnt talk about the 4 pt. All he wanted to do was get warm. TOTAL quiet drive home. We pull in the drive and walk into the house. My wife says...." did you see anything?" I said "yep.... a 4pt" My wife says " Did you shoot it??" And before I can say anything to her my stepson says "mom, he was too young. He needs to get a couple yrs older."
Just then a brilliant light from the heavens shined down on me in the dining room. A chorus of angels sang a hymn and I thought...... I am getting through to him. I really am.