Rifle Season Antlerless Portion Another Trip To The Woods

December 3rd, 2016

Waking up at three in the morning is justifiable as long as it results in heading to the outdoors for some type of adventure.  Todays adventure took place with my son while freezing our rumps off in the deer stand.

Deer Stand, Whitetail Hunting
My son and I in the deer stand
With everything packed into the truck my son and I hit the road at about 3:30 AM for the two hour journey to our hunting spot.
Hunting From A Deer Stand, Deer Stand Hunting, Deer Hunting
A View From the Stand
After sitting in the stand for many hours we climbed down and headed into town to warm up and grab something to eat.  Once we had regained some of the feeling in our fingers it was back to the stand to sit for the afternoon and evening.
Deer Stand Hunting, Hunting From A Deer Stand, Deer Hunting
Another View From the Stand
We stayed in the stand until it was almost dark when three does came wandering in between our stand and the road.  The terrain is uphill from the stand to the road so I may have been able to take a shot safely; however, I decided to pass and use this as a teaching moment for my son.  As the deer walked out of sight my son asked why I didn't shoot.  I then told him that "you should never shoot your gun towards any road because you never know when a vehicle may drive by and accidentally shooting someone would not be a good situation."

At this point in the season I am extremely glad that my family is not dependent on my killing a deer in order to eat throughout this next year as it looks like I may not get one..... If it wasn't for fishing our freezer might be bare....lol.  Time will tell, but thankfully September 15th will be here again before we know it, and once again we will be hitting the woods in pursuit of the seemingly elusive whitetail deer.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day

A Daddy Daughter Date In The Deer Stand

Having spent most of my children's lives on the road as both a regional and over-the-road truck driver I haven't been able to spend nearly enough time with them in the outdoors.  Until the last couple of years circumstances have made it nearly impossible to get in much hunting and fishing at all.  As this situation started changing in my favor, I began to ease them into these activities.  I don't ever force them to go; I simply give them the option of joining me on each adventure.  

This year in Missouri the last of the youth rifle season landed on the weekend after Thanksgiving making things a little difficult.  However, where there's a will there's a way.  At least that is what I've always heard other people tell me when they couldn't figure out how to achieve something they wanted to accomplish.  

After finishing work for the day on Saturday the 26th I picked up the rifle my daughter wanted to use and took her out to get in a little practice.  She has been shooting guns since she was about six, but this was her first time shooting a larger sized rifle.  To my surprise, she handled the gun quite well and was able to hit the target without any issues.  She did tell me "this gun gets heavy after a while" to which I replied "tomorrow you will have something to rest it on while you are aiming."  We finished up our practice session (I wish I had taken pictures of the target after she was done shooting) and headed in for dinner and an early bed time.

At 3:00 AM on Sunday the 27th we crawled out of bed and prepared for the two-hour journey to our hunting spot.  Climbing into the stand just before daylight, we settled in for a daddy daughter date in the deer stand.
Weather, Weather Conditions
Weather Conditions Sunday November 27th
Hunting Blinds, Deer Stand, Hunting Stand
Our Little Hunting Blind

After a few hours of calling and spraying a cover scent, a year old doe finally wandered in.  I instructed my daughter to take her time as the deer seemed to be looking right at us on high alert.  I then heard a twig break behind us and turned around to notice that a much bigger doe was making her way through the woods towards our location.  As the bigger doe stopped, the little one blew and took off running out of sight, but returned shortly to the side of the bigger animal.  At this point they both began to move around to settle in front of us again.  Slowly my daughter attempted to get into position, but before she could manage to get a shot a third deer which neither of us had noticed busted us and ran off causing the other two to evacuate the area.

Yearling Doe, Little Deer, Young Doe
The Little Doe Headed For the Hills

I wish I could say my daughter was able to kill her first deer that day, but I can't.  We sat in the stand for a few more hours until it began to rain on us and decided to call it a day.  As we headed back home my daughter turned to me and said:  "It's ok that I didn't get a deer today.  At least I got to see some, and they were really close!  That's more than a lot of people can say about their first deer hunting trip.  A lot of people only dream of seeing even one deer the first time they go hunting."  I told her that I was really proud of her attitude towards the whole situation and that she was absolutely right about seeing deer on her first trip to the woods with a gun.

Whenever you are out hunting or fishing with your children remember that success isn't always about catching and killing; it's about teaching them to learn from and enjoy every moment they spend in the great outdoors.

- Any day in the outdoors is a good day