As much as we'd like it all to work out the way they show on TV, it seldom does. Kids have an especially hard set of problems:
1) They're kids, and it's hard enough doing it as an adult.
2) You're not a full-time hunting instructor.
Remember this: The bond that happens between an older hunter and a kid happens whether there's meat in the freezer or not. You'll bond from the trophies; you'll bond from eating tag soup. You will probably bond the most from the stuff that happens together that you end up telling no one.
I'm just getting my second son over the hump. #2 son is hunting on his own for the first time next weekend. Believe me it is not easy. Be ready for a lot of frustration and heartache. I could tick you off a long laundry list of what's gone wrong since 2001-- everything from the kid snoring so loudly turkey hens came and looked in the blind to icky blown shots and long tracking jobs that came to naught.
When Angus was 8, he took Hunter Ed and passed-- youngest in the class. That was 2006. However, when he went to shoot a centerfire rifle, he couldn't hit squat. We worked 2 years getting over that hurdle-- this weekend was his first successful hunt. I have no idea how many rounds we went through getting him to that point. Meanwhile Mooseboy, starting in 2002 has gone from the kid that could barely hit the barn standing inside it (Don't Say My Kid Can't Shoot . . .
) to a deadly cervid serial killer (Moose Bags a Buck
Right now, I'm hoping and praying the season ends with everyone safe and happy and lots of deer in the freezer. Part of me is wishing it'd all be over and all the extra worry and hassle of having my son off on his own was behind me. On the other hand, I know next year, there will be something missing. In a few short seasons, I'll be pining for these days and counting the Opening Days until the grandchildren need help whacking their first squirrel.