It was opening day rifle season in Kansas. I remember the morning very clearly, getting ready for school, knowing afterwards my father would be picking me up.
After staring at the clock all day and learning absolutely nothing, finally it was 3:15 and my father is waiting outside. He is already geared up and ready, so I get ready on the way knowing we won’t have much daylight. Once we stop, I immediately notice this is a new spot. We close the
truck doors as silently as possible. I grab the 30-30 my grandfather gave to me and put 3 bullets in it. Once we find the perfect spot I clear off the ground so I can move my feet without making any noise. After no more than 10 minutes I look up and see her in the distance. Now I personally believe that Whitetails are some of Gods most beautiful creatures.
So after watching her for a few minutes I hear “Get ready, buddy”. I raise my 30-30 rifle and rest it on a tree. I take aim, then crack! The sound of my gun shatters the once silent wilderness. She runs out of sight over a hill. We wait a few minutes before we start in on her blood trail. After searching for an hour it was almost dark, I begin getting concerned we would not find her.
I hear “Get ready, buddy”. I raise my 30-30 rifle and rest it on a tree. I take aim, then crack!
The feeling I got when I was tapped on the shoulder is indescribable…”Look up,” he said. Now I would like to tell you that I did the responsible, safe thing and unloaded my rifle or handed it off… But that would be a lie. I took off to the motionless body laying in the timber, and may have possibly done a summer salt or two before I got to her body. I remember looking up at my father and seeing the shine in his eyes. He shook my hand “Good job, buddy,” and “I’m proud of you”. There was more to it though, a right of passage. I can only hope one day when I take my son out, that I can experience the same shine in my eyes when I look down at him and say “Good job, son,” and “I am proud of you”.