I just love to share stories of parents or friends of youth who take them hunting. Without the people who take young hunters into the woods our sport would soon be forgotten. Stories like the one I am about to share with you thrill me.
Preston Blair, a seventh grader, from Jeremiah is one of those stories. Preston moved into Letcher County in April of this year with his parents, Stephen and Marcie Blair, from Indiana. He attends Letcher Middle School, which I am sure takes time from his hunting, but remember, education before recreation.
Preston was downhearted when he failed to connect with a long beard during spring turkey season. But Preston knows that is why it is called hunting instead of killing. Preston just waited until youth deer season and full of hope took to the mountains to try his luck deer hunting. On his first day, hunting with his dad, it brought back memories of the spring when he didn’t connect. I have always been told you can’t kill anything but time sitting on your couch in the living room. Preston must have taken the same class as I did, because after hunting all day on Saturday and not seeing anything he was up and ready to go at the crack of dawn on Sunday.
Another half day, still not a sight of anything. Preston and his dad went in for lunch, but the burning desire of a young hunter took them back into the woods that afternoon. Preston looked into the distance and there stood a giant deer looking to be as big as a twelve-point. I can feel him shaking with what is called “Buck Fever” and I wasn’t even there.
Buck Fever is something all hunters have, sometime even after years of hunting. If a hunter tells you any different, or that they have never missed, they are not being truthful. Anyway, Preston hammered down. But with the odds against him, the excitement, the distance, and probably a list of other things, he missed. But lesson learned, I hope. Take your time and know your shot. Keep in mind that things happen fast in the animal world.
Preston had no more than missed that shot when he saw a four-point step out, much closer and at a much better shot placement for a young man. At the crack of the gun, it was game over. Excitement was to be found everywhere — there, back at his house, and now from this old writer.
Tip of my hat to you, Preston, for getting away from the computer and heading into God’s given beauty. And thank you, Stephen, for taking him hunting.