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Author Topic: Making Memories with Kids by Russcat  (Read 677 times)

Offline TalkHunting Mag

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Making Memories with Kids by Russcat
« on: March 03, 2013, 05:06:13 PM »
Making Outdoor Memories with Kids This is a story of my first experience taking both of my boys to the woods; just the three of us. I wrote this two years ago just after this took place. I happened to find it and thought it may be a fun read for bringing in the 2011-12 season.

At the time, I was very anxious to fulfill the dream of sharing my love of hunting with them. Hunting season had arrived and even though I knew in my heart it was still a little early to get them out, I gave it a go anyway. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade these experiences for anything, but would probably have done things a little different. This is for all the parents out there with up and coming hunters. October 19, 2009 My wife is a nurse and works a lot of weekends. This weekend was one of them. I was graced to have my boys Logan (age 5) and Cole (age 2) all to myself for most of the weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect all weekend so we spent most of our time outside. Saturday we played and worked outside and ended the day burning a big brush pile and having a weenie roast.

Over the fire I mentioned going to the deer lease on Sunday and of course they were all in. The owner of our lease cleared several areas this year and we have turned a couple of clearings into food plots. There is one that is getting just hammered by deer. I'm thinking I could manage the two boys on the ground easily in a ground blind so we're off to hunt the new food plot. Cole still needs a nap everyday so I timed the trip to the lease to his normal nap time. Of course he was all excited and fought off the nap......until we pulled in the gate. When I got out to open the gate and looked back he was crashed. Okay, no problem. We drove the truck up to within about 50 yards to where I wanted to hunt. Logan and I got all the gear and left Cole in the truck with the windows down so I could hear him when he woke up. Off we went.

When Logan saw all the deer tracks he was ready to get in that blind. So he helped me set it up, spray it down with scent spray, and.....brush it in. He saw me sawing limbs and saplings with my hand saw and insisted I let him give it a go. I showed him how sharp the saw was, gave him a short safety lesson, and when he took it out of my hand his excitement got the best of him. He snatched it out of my hand catching the first knuckle on my right hand. Yep cut it real good. It didn't need stitches or anything but I had to wrap it up to control the bleeding. No big deal, he felt bad and I didn't get on to him, just told him how to take a knife or saw out of someone’s hand and blew it off so he didn't freak out from all the blood. I let him cut one branch and quickly got the saw out of his hand before it was an arm or and entire hand coming off.

With Logan's “great help”, we quickly had our blind set up and it was ready to hunt. About that time I heard Cole sounding off in the truck so I ran back to the truck so he didn't freak out from waking up alone staring at unfamiliar woods. I left Logan in the blind by himself and told him just to sit still and quiet and I'd be right back. He had a big question mark over his head when he realized he would be by himself in the blind for a couple minutes....but he agreed and stayed put. He felt better after I zipped the door shut and told him nothing could get him. In my haste to quickly get to a very upset Cole I had to scale a barbed wire fence and caught my left hamstring on a very sharp barb. In my younger years I could negotiate a barbed wire fence without hardly slowing down, but for some reason they have seemed to get higher over the years. I didn't have time to see how bad it was but I can assure you it hurt more than a Gerber handsaw taking off a knuckle.

Cole was all swelled up and didn't like his situation when I arrived. He was pretty upset but got over it fairly quickly. I drove the truck about 100 yards further away and parked it where it was hidden in the trees. Did I mention I left my single shot .22 with Logan in the blind? NO it wasn't loaded; I had the bullets in my pocket. Anyway, Cole and I walked back and met Logan at the blind where we would spend some quality time all together in the stand, safely on the ground. By now the wound on my leg had quit bleeding somewhat so all the bleeding was under control. Cole and I get in the blind with Logan and immediately they are thirsty. Ol Dad thought ahead and had some drinks and snacks in the cooler. I got them both out a Capri Sun then they attacked the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. After several arguments on who sits where, whose chair is whose, etc we kind of got settled in.

I have an old Ithaca lever action single shot .22 that Logan has been trained to shoot. We brought it with us because Logan wanted a real gun to "shoot a hog in the brain" with. So why not, there's a chance some hogs would come through and if they did I'd be all about him getting to shoot something. I noticed the .22 had some mud on the end of the barrel so I picked it up to check it out. Yep, when I was tending to Cole in the truck Logan decided the barrel of the gun worked great for digging holes in the sand. It was packed. I had already told myself not to take this trip too serious and to make sure I made it fun for the boys, but this was a time for a lesson with handling guns. So I got on him pretty hard about that and put the gun up. He got upset, then Cole got upset, and Dad was upset. Okay dad, get control of the situation here. So I said we didn't need the gun anyway, I had my bow.

So I got my bow out of the case and hung it to my left. They thought that was too cool. Logan didn't understand how I could shoot through the mesh windows so I got out an arrow sporting a G5 Striker and showed him how the arrow turns like a drill and would have no problem slicing through the mesh. He insisted on handling the arrow with this extremely sharp broad head. Against my better judgment I let him hold it very briefly. Cole had already lost interest in the arrow but the bow hanging up to my left was just the grandest thing he ever saw. I was so focused on Logan with that arrow in his hand I didn't pay much attention to Cole.....then I heard.......”Daddy what's this?” I grabbed the arrow from Logan and turned to look what Cole was asking about. He had pulled the fiber optic string out of my 20 yard pin. I couldn't have done that with a pair of needle nose pliers but somehow my 2 year old figured out how to disable a very expensive fiber optic sight. I still can't figure out how he did it. Oh well, a $140 yard sight on my Mathews is now in need of an overhaul.....make it fun dad....you can do it. After at least 50 times telling them to use their whisper voices, and separating them from at least 5 pushing matches that turned to scuffles, I decided the ground blind hunt was probably a bad idea. I was just hoping to see some deer more than anything but with the ground blind shaking from movement and the steady flow of "Stop it Bubba" and "Daddy, Cole hit me" there was just no way anything resembling a wild animal would show.

Somehow, someway, I looked up and there was a turkey walking 10 yards right in front of us. That got their attention for.....a few seconds and then the games were on again. I thought the turkey sighting was a miracle and was really cool, but they brushed it off like seeing a caged animal in the Fort Worth Zoo. No big deal. I then realized this meant much more to me than them. So I decided to pack it in. I let them play around the pond for a while then we made our way back to the truck. When we got back to the truck I had a surprise. A certain odor was coming from the back seat. Cole is not yet potty trained. He's resisting it with the determination of a beagle after a hare. So I took care of that and managed it pretty well. Dad was thinking ahead in that department too. Even had the little plastic bags to put it in so we wouldn't have to drive home with the windows down.

Okay, they're back in their seats strapped in. I had this feeling of relief come across me. It was low 60's with a very nice north breeze blowing but I had a really good sweat worked up from dealing with these little terds. I was down to single layers and was still lathered up. We had about 1 hour before dark so I decided since I had the animals caged, and the weather was so perfect, I would just drive around the lease a little and hopefully see some deer around the edges. We're in my wife's Nissan Armada.......2WD. For those of you who have never been off-road in a.....2WD Nissan Armada let me just say this; DON'T DO IT. I thought we would be fine since it hasn't rained in 3 days or so. We're heading up this slightly worn pasture road, everything is cool, and here comes a small low spot in the trail where the soil

was slightly darker than the rest of the very dry and nicely packed sandy loam soil I had already been on. We hit the moist area and stopped in our tracks. I tried forward, backward, and we were stuck. It's almost dark, I have no cell signal, and I'm stuck in far north Fannin County with a hungry 2 year old and a 5 year old laughing cause he thought we got to spend the night at the deer lease because we were stuck. I had to make a decision quick. So I got them back out, and we walked searching for a signal. The mosquitoes in Fannin County at dusk resemble hornets. It was terrible. Zing, zap, buzz buzz, they were all over us. Finally I found 1 bar and was able to call the landowner. Of course he was tied up and couldn't be there for an hour or so. So I called dad...no answer......then a couple of buddies with no luck. Out of the blue my wife called me and she had got off early and was trying to find us. I told her to bring the 4WD Tahoe immediately to pull us out. So she departs for the deer lease from home about 40 miles away. About 10 minutes later the landowner calls me back and says he's on his way...only 5 minutes out. So I tried to call my wife back to call her off and she didn't answer. I called and called but she never answered. She had her phone on vibrate and never realized I was trying to call her off.

So finally Ronnie shows up, gives me the slightest little tug to free us from the damp hole we were in and we're off. I met my wife on the hwy on the way home and had to turn around to run her down. Of course it was dark and she didn't recognize our vehicle so she didn't want to stop. She has heard all the stories about all the rough neck hillbilly's in that area and she did not want to stop. Finally when she pulled into the road to our lease she moved over to the side and allowed me to pull up next to her. That was an extra 10 miles I didn't care to drive but I had to or she would have been searching all over the deer lease in the dark looking for her boys. Finally, the entire family is on our way home and soon to be safe in the confines of our home. I couldn't ignore the throbbing of my hamstring and knuckle but wasn't too concerned about it. I didn't realize how much my leg had bled.....I didn't really have time to think about it.

When we got home we all went to the laundry room to take off our camo clothes for the wash. One rule around our house is takem off at the door when you come home from the lease. Ticks are terrible. So me and the wife are tending to the kids and managed to keep them separated long enough to get their clothes off. My wife happened to notice the back of my left pants leg was a much darker color than the rest of my clothes and noticed a big tear in my pants. The knuckle didn't need stitches but the leg probably did. It was worse than I thought. It's a nice benefit having an ER nurse around the house. She managed to clean it up and glue it shut somehow and fix the knuckle with a nice dressing. She wasn't happy about the blood stain on her leather seat in the truck but we managed to get it cleaned up.

Today was a victory. Anytime me and these two high strung boys go out for an adventure it's usually one of them that needs to be bandaged up on our return. I managed to bring them home safely without any new scars. For Dad, nothing a new bow site, a gun cleaning, a little medicine for the skeeter bites, and minor surgery on my leg and knuckle won't cure. Today is a day I'll never forget but the boys probably won't think twice about it. This won't be attempted again until their a little older. I think I'll try Logan just me and him next time. For Cole, he'll have to shed them diapers before he earns his next trip to the deer blind. I love them more than anything in this world but they're just not ready yet, and neither is Dad.

russcat


 

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