Next Generation Hunters: Last winter, both dad and Caden received the dreaded notice from the DWR letting them know that neither had drawn out for the general hunt. His cousin, Alex, had the same result. Both of their dads were bummed, but hope was not lost.
The DWR’s mentor program, provided the chance for the boys to still hunt. Grandpa quickly offered to mentor Caden, and Alex’s dad would mentor him. Hunt preparations began.
This was Alex’s first hunt since passing Hunter’s Ed. He and his dad had a great hunt. They saw lots of deer and came across a herd of 30 with several bucks in it. The deer were on the move, and Alex took a shot just over a large 3 point. While the shot didn’t connect, his dad made sure to teach him the importance of checking for signs of a wounded animal. They scoured the area to be sure that it was a clean miss.
Meanwhile, Caden, his dad, and grandpa were on their own hunting path. That adventure took them much further than dad anticipated. Grandpa was a trooper, and climbed the mountain, back pain and all to help his grandson on his hunt. The deer weren’t to be found that morning, and after meeting up with his cousin and uncle, the group decided to head back to camp to rest.
When the time came for an evening hunt, Caden and grandpa were pooped, and decided to stay in camp. Grandpa suggested that Caden grab a chair and watch the side of the hill, while he cleaned things up and prepared to head back home. Caden’s dad was thinking there would be no chance that any deer would walk through, but figured they could have some good father and son bonding time anyway. Grandma came out and did her special deer “call” to bring in the animals. No words can really describe the sounds that she made.
Maybe 30 minutes later, 5 or 6 deer crossed the hill in front of them. All does, but it sure got the blood flowing. Grandma came out again, and said that she needed to do her buck “call” to bring in the bucks instead of does. Caden said, “I think we will see some in like 5 minutes.” Dad was just happy that they saw any animals.
True to Caden’s prediction, about 5 minutes later, dad looks over and sees two more deer making their way toward camp. Dad grabs the rifle and sees antlers!!! He tells grandpa, and Caden got set up for a shot. Using the camp chair as a rest, he steadied for the shot. The shot rang out, and we could tell that the deer was hit. Grandpa took a second shot to make sure the deer went down quickly. The deer walked out of sight, and then disappeared.
Dad, grandpa, and Caden took off up the hill to find the deer, and it was Caden who was the first to say he found it. The three then took time to give thanks, take pictures, and field dress the animal, before dragging it back to camp.
This was the easiest drag that dad had ever had….300 yards, and all down hill.
The others were sure surprised when they heard on the radio that we were sitting in camp with a 3 point hanging. Lots of smiles and celebrating were had around camp and on the way home.
But perhaps dad’s happiest moment of the trip was the picture of Caden and Alex walking down the mountain trail together. Their dads, grandpa, uncles, aunts, and friends have enjoyed this range for many years, and now their kids have the chance to do the same.
. Photo submitted by Mike Christensen on Nov 29, 2016 10:08 PM