Firearm Deer Hunting Season started yesterday here in our area of Minnesota. There is a sprinkling of snow on the ground, more of the dandruff irritating variety than an actual snow. I am not sure yet if I will call it our second "snow" or not. It is 20 degrees here this morning. The phone rang a few minutes ago it was Madison our Granddaughter. She is hunting with my Father this morning, her Great Grandfather. They are at the deer stand together. Madison was with him last year, and had quite a story to tell. My Father calls her his "Good Luck Charm."
There are 60 private acres here, heavily wooded. My brother, my nephew, and my niece and Far Guy and I all live on the southern part of this section. To the east of us is the lake and the lake homes all lined up paying their high property taxes. To the west of us is corporate farming at it's worst. Hunting takes place in the area north of us, my Father and brother both have fancy schmancy deer stands that they built themselves. There are many deer runs that run the course through our woods. I like to walk these deer runs, and look for deer sign ..the tell tale poop. It is easy walking the runs, as the deer have a sort of super highway, avoiding dense thickets of brush. Perhaps some day before it snows too much I will take my camera on a walk.
My Father has been hunting deer since he was a child. There are seventy- three years difference in age between he and Madison. They seem well suited to hunting together, they were at the deer stand around six this morning. They reported that they have eaten most of their lunches and needed a potty break. They told on each other about a couple of naps that they both have taken already this morning. My Father says that Madison will be a good hunter someday. She is just in the learning stages..since this is just her second year of watching. She sits quietly in her chair, and doesn't even shuffle her feet my Father reports. They talk of guns and what kind of gun she should get to practice with before she takes the Gun Safety Class. They have decided on a 223 single shot. My Father seems happy to have a hunting companion, she is the only one with an interest in hunting so far. She also reported to me that she could sit quieter but her chair squeaks. They have a heater, Maddie calls it a fire buddy, you turn the knob, it fires up blue and then turns red. I loaded her up with some more snacks and they are back off to the deer stand. My Father reports, there was some shooting earlier this morning, but he figures most of the deer were out before this snow and they are now hunkered down in the swamps..but may come out this afternoon if the sun shines.
Maddie's Hunting Story from last year as she told it to me: Well, it is a lot of waiting and waiting and eating and eating, you need lots of snacks. You have to sit real quiet. And watch for deer. Then a deer came in, Great Grandpa said "Cover your ears" I covered them up, there was a loud boom. Then a big buck came in and I said "Shoot again" Great Grandpa said " I can't, I only have one license." The deer we shot was squirming on the ground, Great Grandpa cut it's throat, then he made a big cut right down it's middle, and gutted it, when Great Grandpa reached for the heart the deer groaned. Then we drove the pickup closer and I helped lift it up by one of it's legs to get it into the back of the pickup so we could go register it. When we got back here I let Chance smell of it. Then about four days later Great Grandpa brought me over some of the meat, yum was it ever good. I like deer hunting. And Great Grandpa calls me his "good luck charm. "
Not all children are interested in hunting, but when you have one that is, isn't it wonderful that she can learn from the best hunter I have ever known. I used to hunt, I guess I still hunt in a way ..only differently..with my camera. What I know about hunting I learned from my Father. Good hunting practices handed down from one generation into the next. I hope the mighty hunters will be back later in the day with another good hunting story to tell me:)