The Lure of Hunting

I've been deer hunting with the boys over the last week and have we ever had a good time. There's nothing as much fun as deer hunting with a bow, especially when you can do it with your kids.

Sherry and I bought them new bows for Christmas last year. They've spent a lot of time practicing with them so they would be ready for hunting season this fall. It was kind of neat to watch them progress. At first they had trouble hitting anything, but as they improved their interest increased. It was a real dad type experience to watch.

Anyway, this year they experienced their first trips as hunters with their own equipment. The first time I took Nicholas with me, and my brother-in-law, Rusty, took Jackson. (It's best to take youngsters out one on one. It's more effective and a lot safer.)

Nicholas and I saw a couple of bucks and several does, but didn't get a good shot. His bow is set at 38 pounds so he's pretty much limited to 20 yards. We just didn't get a good shot that close. No matter, we had a great time watching the deer and learning about how they mark their territory, browse and generally live their lives.

When we returned to the truck that evening we saw Rusty and Jackson standing alongside it. I knew something was up. It turned out that Jackson took a shot but his arrow scrapped an obstruction and went off target. As a result he missed. The deer won that round. Jackson was disappointed.

That's OK, though. This hunting thing isn't all about harvesting a deer. Most of it's about spending time together, learning to appreciate the outdoors and Mother Nature and becoming a better human being by developing the right moral standards. As long as we accomplish that, our day — or our lives for that matter — can be considered a success.

We hunted another couple of times but without harvesting a deer. Notice that I didn't say without success. Like I said, success can be measured by other standards than how big your buck's rack is or whether or not you killed a deer. Never forget that.

This Saturday — the 15th — is Opening Day of gun season here. I can't wait. I haven't missed an Opening Day in years and don't intend to miss it this year. But like most areas of the country it gets a little crazy out there after a couple of days. Basically, the deer will be scared out of their minds by Monday noon. I hope I get one quick.

I'll let you know next week about Opening Day. And we'll talk about an exciting project I've had the privilege of being involved in — a National Geographic TV special about bass and bass fishing.

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