My son Henry came along to deer camp in MN for the first time a year ago and did a good job being quiet and patient sitting with me in the stand. He carried his unloaded rifle to practice good habits, and we watched a lot of deer. I shot a smallish buck on the afternoon of our last day.
He attended hunter safety this year, and passed his field test a few weeks ago. He’s 10 years old, so still mentor hunting, but I was okay with his safety habits and readiness; lots of excitement for this season where he’d get the chance to harvest a deer for the first time. Minnesota is great about this by providing even out-of-state kids a free license.
And then opening weekend was the slowest I’ve seen since I started hunting MN in 2009. Didn’t see a deer on Saturday after that crystal clear calm moonlit night, then on Sunday we watched the wind blow two different trees down near us. That afternoon I went for a walk and found a couple deer hanging out in the low ground out of the wind.
On Monday morning he sat with his Grandad in the stand above that low ground, and around 9am a spike cooperated and walked by the stand. After a reminder from Grandad to “take your time,” he lined it up and made a clean shot through the lungs. The only deer seen on stand in 3 days was the only one he needed – can’t wait for that first taste of summer sausage!
Those once-in-a-life moments…