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Author Topic: My son's first hunt :D  (Read 915 times)

Offline cuzsis

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My son's first hunt :D
« on: October 27, 2013, 01:39:55 AM »
 Spoiler: Didn't get a deer...this time.

 Backstory: Riyan passed his hunters ed earlier this year at the age of 8. We recently were invited to come hunting on some private acreage that the deer kept eating the baby timber grade trees in as well as the apple orchard. It was located over on the Olympic Peninsula, a 2hr drive away. Riyan, now 9, was welcomed as well. He is hunting modern firearm as two major growth spurts this year have strung out his muscles beyond hope of building up for the archery season.

 Our hunting time was only going to be a couple hours, due to a screw up at the vets office, it turns out that the puppy *wasn't* going to be done with her last set of shots before we were to head out and so was not going to be able to go to the kennel as originally planned and would be at home. So our "whole day" trip, suddenly had to turn into a "half day trip", with 2/3 of the time spent traveling. But we decided to go anyway.

********************************************************************************************

  Due to circumstances outside of our control we were running late when we could finally leave. We went down into town to get the licenses, but what my husband didn't know was that you now have to have proof of passing the hunters ed to get your first license...there isn't a state wide database or anything.

 So there we sat at the license counter, not enough time to go back and get Riyan's hunters ed card and return to the store, and little point of making a 2hr drive if only my husband was going to hunt.

 Riyan was in quiet tears.

 I wasn't doing much better.

 I had busted my butt the last couple days to get things lined up while running back and forth to work and fighting a stomach bug (as well as a recent hypothyroid resurgence.) I was utterly drained, and now it was possibly all for naught.

 But there are few things that bull headed stubbornness can't accomplish, and Lord knows I was blessed with an extra helping of that.

 I took us back home in a hurry, grabbed the card and we headed out towards the property. It was a 2hr drive, surely we'd pass through a town that had a license counter right off the highway... sure enough, just over half an hour down the road there was. We stopped, grabbed it and jumped back on the highway. Traffic was light and moving and we were going to get there with at least 1.5hrs to hunt. Not the original 3hrs, but still something.

 At the property, we found the place we had scouted from google maps and got Riyan set up overlooking a promising ravine that lead to the apple orchard and even had an old logging road on the far side. I did a quick scout while they both sat and then returned to tell my husband what I had found. Brandon then headed off deeper into the property to do some still hunting over the multitude of deer trails and fresh scat that was all over the property.

 Riyan waited with extraordinary patience and kept glassing the ravine. Half an hour passed and we saw some movement! There on the far side...something light brown picking it's way slowly up the road.... it was a human! An older gentleman, and worse still, he had his black lab/husky cross gamboling around next to him unleashed. They were headed up the old logging road right into where the deer bedding area was. Knowing we would have no luck with a dog running free I tapped Riyan on the shoulder and motioned him to follow me. It was likely the old man was trespassing, but it was a moot point.

 I looked sympathetically at my son, he was toting my husband's heavy Saiga rifle. We had wanted to get him his own .243, but with my husband at the end of his mandatory 100 day break between contracts and no firm paperwork yet for the start of the next one, we just couldn't spend that kind of money. But he was a good shot with it sitting down and properly braced, so we figured we could set him up with "stand hunting" sans the actual stand. Now he was going to have to still hunt. We caught up with my husband and told him what happened. So we decided to split up, my husband would take the upper portion and we would hunt the reasonably level lower portion beyond a belt of 30' Douglas fir.

 Riyan, with his backpack on too, gamely toted his heavy rifle and was exceedingly careful about it's muzzle direction, even as we bush whacked our way through grasses and brush, some of which was taller than he was. We found a well traveled deer trail that lead towards the second (shallower) ravine on the property. There was some fresh droppings on it and a large hoof print, so we decided to follow it. The light was going fast, and our only chance was to get a high vantage point where we could glass for deer.

 At a fork in the trail Riyan took a look around and said "Let's go down this one." He had managed to pick out the biggest trail out of about half a dozen that ran through that spot as well as the one that would lead us to the ravine. It was clear he had taken time to deliberate between them to pick what he thought was the best one, and I was proud of him.

 We got to the ravine and watched it for a while. Nothing was moving and we were down to our last 10 minutes or so. I asked him if he wanted to check our original ravine one last time, just in case. He said yeah and we started back.

 I took the lead during this portion to help move the brush out of the way, as I could tell he was tiring. Half way back I felt a tap on my shoulder, thinking he needed to stop and rest I turned around. Riyan motioned off to our right. I looked...there in the gathering dusk we could see Puget Sound stretched out below us and the inlets of the mainland across the way. Soft orange lights came from a large town to the south, and a small group of lights on the water revealed itself to be a Washington State ferry gliding through the blueish twilight haze.

 "Pretty, isn't it?" said Riyan

 "Yeah." I said, and we stood for a moment appreciating the fantastic view.

 Then we continued on our way back.

 We didn't see anything in the ravine and headed up towards where I had seen lots of trails converging and smelled some male pee of some kind. (Possible bear, but not doe anyway.) Riyan suggested we try thunking sticks against the trunks to mimic antlers. It was our last couple minutes, so we did.

 At the end we headed back to the jeep to meet my husband (who also hadn't had any luck.) We took Riyan's heavy gear off and gave him a long drink of water. My husband asked him "Did you have fun?"

 "I had billions of fun!" Riyan emphatically stated. We all agreed it had been a fun trip and made plans to hunt our local area tomorrow evening after his last fall baseball game.

 Two hours later we were driving up the hill that lead to our street, Riyan piped up from the back seat.

 "Hey mom?"

 "Yeah?"

 "Thanks for making all of this happen."

 "Your welcome," I said, and then blinked rapidly to bring the blurry road back into focus.

/sorry I don't have any pictures to post, couldn't quite manage it with everything else going on. Hopefully next time!  ;D

Offline ligpd

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2013, 10:08:48 AM »
It still sounds like you all had a great time together in the outdoors and that's what it is all about some times.

Offline steelie74

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2013, 12:34:45 PM »
nothing can make your day like your kids!!
(thwack)  bowhunters will know the sound.  also my license plate   52 ACRES TO MAKE INTO MY ON LITTLE HONEYHOLE.  OH MY ACHIN BACK!!

Offline Split toe

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2013, 01:01:53 PM »
Thanks for sharing just a great story. Nothing better than getting your kids involved in the great outdoors. Sounds like your building some great memories and there will be many more to come.
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Offline yari

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2013, 08:21:11 PM »
I enjoy hunting w/ kids more than alone now. their expressions are great. good luck
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Offline wvwhitetail

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 09:14:10 AM »
Congrats to you on a very successful hunt. Despite what all you went through,you made the hunt possible for Riyan. He knew that when he thanked you. I hope the next time goes smoother. Good Luck the rest of the season.

Offline Snortweeze

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 11:10:49 AM »
Congrats on showing him a fun filled day in the woods. He will be hooked for life.
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Offline cuzsis

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 01:40:05 PM »
Thanks all! I've always in enjoyed the woods and it's so much fun to him getting the same thrill from it!

 This Monday morning, my husband took him out of school to spend some special "Father son" hunting time together around here (I had work). They had a great time getting up while it was still dark and heading out early! My husband took pictures and posted them for me to see while I was at work.  ;D 

 


 We're hoping to get him is "own" rifle for Christmas though, a youth model .243 so he can last a bit longer out there. (He was determined to carry his own rifle in case they saw a deer. Ten pounds of rifle is heavy for a 9yr old to hike with...)

 

Offline wvwhitetail

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Re: My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 08:07:29 AM »
Sounds like Great Father and Son time. Hope it continues.

Offline russcat

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My son's first hunt :D
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 10:39:26 AM »
Thanks for sharing the adventures with us.  It's great to see the young ones developing a love for the hunt. Keep up the good work mom and dad.
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