Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hailey's first harvest....

Hailey decided she wanted to start hunting this year. She has been going target practicing with me for several years. I use to take her hunting when she 2 or 3 years old, before she realized she didn't like it....she would be fishing!! We would have an extra pair of binoculars, an extra gun(not that she could shoot) a blanket, crayons and coloring books, baby dolls, snacks, drinks, flash cards....anything you could imagine. She would get tired or really just bored beyond her years. We would get ready to leave and she would be too tired to walk, here we go, I would carry her out on my shoulders and everything else tuck under my arms, around my neck, in each hand, a backpack clenched in my teeth......I looked like an elephant and she was the Queen of Huntingland. Well, this year she decided she wanted to start hunting...Garrett decided he wanted to hunt also. I tried to take turns with each one of them and even once I took both of them. Picture this, a 4 ft by 4 ft stand, 12 feet off the ground, two kids and me, along with everything and then some. They had the Nintendos playing against one times made so much noise, I couldn't think, they even shook the stand a couple of times. I started reading my book and we just enjoyed the afternoon together.....really close together. They had fun and that is what is important.
Garrett and I had gone to a stand that I have had a great deal of success in harvesting a deer. Late in the afternoon, 3 came into the food plot and with his excitement, moving to get a better look, they saw us. The last thing we saw was their white tails going away from us.....ha. We listed that hunt as a success..... sicne we finally saw something together.This is them, with Garrett acting crazy......

I took Hailey a few days later to the same stand. We were sitting was getting late.....I call it "Prime Time"....this is when you will see the most deer.....a bunny rabbit hopped out and I told Hailey where it was. After a few minutes, she tapped my leg, took her hand and acted as if she was pulling a trigger. I explained to her that this was "Prime Time" and that if she shoots, we will not see a deer. She said OK....well about 2 minutes later, she is tapping my leg wanting to shoot. I told her go ahead.

She lifted the gun and shouldered it, flipped the safety off.....and I could feel her shaking from excitement, nerves....heart pounding.....the end of barrel was dancing everywhere, she couldn't hold it still. I placed my hand on her back, leaned over and told her to just relax..."Yea, right Daddy"....I told her to keep the rabbit in the sights, don't even think about shooting..after a little while, she calmed much as possible...she squeezed the trigger and hit her target. We hugged, high-fived and I let her know how proud I was of her.

She was still so excited!! She had a huge proud smile on her face....that girl knows she can smile. We talked for a little while, and she told me, "Daddy, you were right. I even didn't feel it(the gun) kick". It was a boost of confidence that she gained that afternoon. When we got home, she had to tell Garrett about the hunt and of course, we had to take pictures. They are already talking about next season.
We do eat what we harvest and the children are taught to respect and enjoy nature with all of its beauty.

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