In this new year, the days and weeks are speeding by like the white lines on the highway. Can you believe we are already into the middle of January?
Less I forget, if you have a story you have sent to me, please just hold on and I will get to it. I promise. It may take a few weeks, but I will write it.
This week’s story comes from my friend Chris Hensley. It proves a point that I’ve been trying to drive home for years — that the future of our sport is in our hands. It is much too important to trust to anyone else.
Chris has two young sons, and he is teaching them the way of the hunt, not the way of the computer. Josh, 14, and Jeremiah, 12, both are students at Whitesburg Middle School. Both enjoy hunting with their dad. The best part is he loves taking them.
This past season, Chris saw a monster buck on his grandmother’s property. As usual, I won’t disclose the location for fear of it being overrun, but where it is makes little difference anyway. As Chris settled onto the ridge on opening morning of the youth season, with both sons in tow, his excitement was high. He was sure Jeremiah would get the chance that day to kill his first buck. Chris was also was sure this ridge was where the old monster buck was using as his hangout.
About 7: 30 a. m., they saw movement in the brush. Some of the leaves still clung to the brush, and Chris and the boys had seen bobcat tracks when they had set up. As they watched, here came the big boy they had hoped to find. Meanwhile, whatever was in the brush was getting closer. Chris directed his attention toward the moving brush, because it was much closer and if it were a deer Jeremiah would have a better shot. Chris also needed to mind the big boy.
Little Jeremiah soon said, “Daddy I see a deer.” Sure enough, a nice deer — although not the monster they would have liked — stood about 30 yards broadside. Daddy did what all fathers would do at that point. Feeling his heart swell with pride, he steadied the high-powered rifle, a 30.06, so his son could look through the scope and pull the trigger.
At the crack of the rifle, over the crest of the ridge tumbled Jeremiah, but the loving hands of his father were there to catch him. Chris didn’t know if his son had hit the mark or not, but they went to look. The joy felt in the hearts of everyone when they saw the deer lying there has never and will never properly be put into words. I could feel the emotions as this story was relayed to me.
Thanks Chris for sharing this private moment with all of us. And to Jeremiah from all of us at Struttin’ Time, we salute you on your first deer.