Not monster rack or even a giant doe for that matter but it is my best trophy to date because I got to share it with someone VERY special to me! My soon to be 4 y/o daughter and I have been watching hunting shows together for quite a while and she shows a good level of interest in them so I was hopeful that I would one day have myself a little hunting buddy. I have two daughters so I figure odds are I can get at least one of them to enjoy the outdoors as much as I do! Fast forward to yesterday, I am packing up my things and getting ready to head out for the afternoon. She stops me and says "Daddy can I go hunting with you?" Being that she is not even quite 4 yet and I had done no preparing I said to her how about next time, I will make sure to get things ready ahead of time.
She was absolutely crushed and I melted, I quickly changed my tune and told her that she was coming with me. Her frown went to an ear to ear grin that didn't leave her face until she went to bed (2.5 hours past her bedtime...sorry mom). So here I am all scent controlled up and her in her snowsuit and winter hat and my camo sweatshirt with no scent preparation what-so-ever. I didn't care one bit! My afternoon hunt turned in to a Daddy daughter bonding/teaching trip and I had already convinced myself that this was just going to be for fun and we would just sit until she got bored and then we would call it a day and pack it in.
So we get all settled in the 2 man ladder at 4:30. She feels safe as could be now that I put on her special "Tree Buckle" as she calls it. I had her double safety strapped to the tree as per the requirements of mom! I tell myself 45 minutes would be a great accomplishment and as soon as I hear one peep we are out of there for a walk and then off to a celebratory happy meal dinner. I didn't want to make it miserable for her, I was already as happy as could be that she just wanted to be out there with me.
To my surprise this little trooper sat next to me with my arm around her for the next 2 hours with out making a peep or complaining once! We just kept practicing her "statue freeze" for when a deer came in and looking for squirrels and birds. I swear, she was more quiet and still than 90% of the hunters I know!
At 6:30 a small doe shows up out of no where in one of my shooting lanes. I tell her "statue freeze" and she locks up like a dog on point (so proud of her!) I get the crossbow up, look it over, settle on the vitals and let it fly!
As soon as I shot she couldn't contain herself any longer! "Did we get it!, Did we get it!" I said I think so but lets go check. Blood covered arrow and blood every 2 feet, I knew we were in business! She was right beside me the whole time, "There's some blood, there's some more dad!, Whoa there is a lot here!" I swear I could have stepped back and she would have followed it herself! 40 yards later we were at our prize!
Certainly not a giant but not one I could pass up with my best new hunting buddy there to share the experience with me! This will be great eats and all she did was talk about what kind of sausage and jerky she wants to make with "HER" deer. For the entire hour ride home she was calling her mom and grandparents and telling them the whole story of how "SHE" go it! I could tell everyone was asking her if she was scared or grossed out and she just kept saying, "No...it was really cool...we shot the arrow, then I followed the blood trail and I even helped Daddy cut the guts out!...then he dragged it and I held the flashlight so we could find the truck!"
I will remember that afternoon and every little detail of it for the rest of my life! She is off to a good start but even if she eventually decides she doesn't like hunting, I will always have that day! I am one proud Daddy and hope that this is the first of MANY memorable hunts with my girls!
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