Updated: Jan 6
With all the busyness , the work, creating content , and making art it can be really hard to find time .
A week ago or so I had the opportunity to take my son Jacob to the woods on a little hunting adventure.
My day job has me working every other weekend and so we can’t always go ,but this weekend I had off . The weather was going to be a little warm for deer hunting but I new that meant Jacob would not have cold toes 20 minutes into the woods . (Fact No matter how warm I dress the kids for a hunting adventure they get cold feet 20-30 minutes in . Sometimes I wonder if they are just bored? )
Like I was saying the day was going to be nice so I decided we would head to the woods around 11:30 am and stay till sun down . A little after 11:00 we put on our mismatched camouflage , Jacob grabbed us a few snacks while I grabbed my old Winchester 3030 and a new crossman 1000 BB gun . We hopped in my truck and headed to my hunting spot roughly 20 minutes away .
This particular spot is where I shot my first and only buck thus far . We can come back to that story another time .
As we headed down a dirt road nearing the parking area Jacob and I were watching and hoping there would not be any other cars . This particular spot is state land so it’s open to the public.
As we rounded the last little bend we could see we were in luck no cars ! (This could arguably have been the most luck we had that day ,but what’s luck anyway.)
As I put the truck in park I reminded Jacob from this point forward we were hunting. It was time for a quieter voice and to move as silent as possible. He said ok Dad in a whisper.
After helping Jacob get his orange vest on and all set I grabbed my pack and the 3030. A few steps from the truck and we were in the woods . I proceeded to load the old lever action Winchester 3030 . The first four rounds went in just fine , but when I went to rack in the first round something was wrong . I didn’t know it at the moment but the rim of the round had been damaged ever so slightly and would not allow the round to fully chamber . There is a button the leaver of the gun has to push in in order to finish the process of racking a round in and it just wouldn’t t do it .
This was an opportunity to show Jacob what was going on and how we could fix this in the field . As you pulled the lever to eject the round it would not eject you had to finish racking it in first . I used my knife from my belt to hold the button down allowing the round to chamber all while holding the hammer back with my thumb . This was a little tricky but it worked . I had Jacob take a few steps back while I performed this trick just as a safety precaution. So now the round is in and loaded . I eject the round for further inspection. At this time I found the round to have that little bit of damage and so it went in my pocket. This whole thing took maybe 3-4 minutes but man it captivated my son and I though wow he was really into that , man I hope we see a deer .
As we walked through the woods and up a gradual incline I kept looking back to check on Jacob who was just smiling ear to ear . I whispered you good bud ? He with his big smile and a whisper yes dad . With that we continued on . We walked another 30 minutes or so at this point the gradual incline was getting pretty steep but Jacob was doing great . I had reminded him to keep his eyes peeled and to walk in step . He was doing a great job for an eager kid who’s normally running and making all kinds of noise.
We continued on seeing some sign here and there , a few piles of deer scat before finally walking up on a couple of buck rubs . Now the rubs were not from that day maybe a few days old . I explained to Jacob what the deer had done to scrape the tree like that . He got a real kick out of it . With that I decided we would sit on a down tree just a little farther up from the signs so we could over look the area .
As we sat Jacob used binoculars to scan the area . Honestly it was peaceful. The weather was beautiful the woods were still and we were just there in the middle of it soaking it in . After about 30 minutes I remembered Jacob had a rattle bag in his pocket my father had given him for Christmas last year . I whispered hey let’s hear you rattle that bud . He was excited he pulled the rattle out very carefully I showed him with my hands the motion of rolling it between them . He got the point . He worked the rattle back and forth a couple times and paused i motioned for him to do it one more time and with that big grin on his face he did . It sounded great we was doing a really good job . After that we sat and waited and listened. We had been sitting for about 30 minutes or so and a few times I had to remind him to try an sit still . Ha good luck ! In the woods with my boy who’s go go go 24-7 and I’m asking him to do the impossible. I was laughing to my self because I new what I was asking was almost impossible.
As we sat I could hear something making its way near an area full of saplings not far off . There was also a big dead fallen tree in that spot so visibility was very low . Coincidentally as I hear the sounds Jacob began to fidget . We had been sitting for roughly an hour now and that was a big feat in its self . As I tried to hush Jacobs movements what ever was a head of us took off with the sound of antlers smacking the thin branches of saplings.
Jacob looking at me eyes wide open and in a whisper what was that Dad ? I said I’m not sure bud but it may have been a buck . His eyes dropped and he slouched in his spot . He said Dad I wasn’t sitting still enough was I ? I said well bud you were doing a really good job sometimes those deer just take off . It’s ok though your doing great . We sat for another 20 minutes or so and I could see the excitement fading from Jacobs face and that look setting in . You know the look if you hunt and spooked a deer .
I wasn’t about to sit and let get down on him self any longer. With that I stood and said let’s walk for a bit . We traversed across the mountain until it the grade wasn’t so steep and then slowly started making our way down. As we slowly walked through the hardwood trees who had lost their leafs a week prior I could see something on the ground a head of us . We were about halfway down at this point with no deer in sight . Walking a little closer I could the spine and some of the rib cage from which I could tell was from a deer . We walked up and Jacob excitedly said what is that ! I said the spine from a deer . He said a spine ! He was excited. I explained it could been from a coyote kill or maybe from another hunters harvest and some dogs had dragged it off . He was quite interested. After inspection the deer spin for a couple minutes we made our way down through the trees and over some basketball sized rocks . I could feel the terrane in my knees at this point and was rather impressed at how my 8 year old boy was just moving along like no big deal . I thought ,good for you kid and smiled .
We made it out to the truck in no time . Once there we grabbed a snack and discuss driving down to another spot to possibly hunt for a little longer . It was only 2:30 pm and sundown was to be at 4:30 so we would have time . We decided to shoot the crossman 1000 BB gun a bit before we left . This was a new purchase for us so Jacob was very excited to take some shots . Being on a dead end dirt road it was easy to find some empty cans for target practice. Jacob was able to hit the can on his second shot and then again after that . We took turns for a bit and decided to move on to the next hunting spot which was only a short drive away .
Once there we ended up taking a walk through the woods . There was no sign of any kind that a deer had even been in the area so we headed out and called it a day .
I had hoped to harvest a deer with my son that day . I wanted to be able to walk him through all of it start to finish. Although we did not even see a deer let alone harvest one it’s was still an awesome day spent together. This day was not a waste as there were still many lessons taught , knowledge gained and memories made . In regards to the day’s events all I can end with it was time well spent .
I hope you enjoyed this read be sure to check out my YouTube channel Kyle Hall Woodworker for a video from the day mentioned about . You can also check out our family channel Fun With The Halls . Links below
Thanks for reading.