As many of you know how I encourage taking little ones into the woods. It can be a very rewarding adventure to let your little ones experience nature first hand. I love taking our little girl to ride on the rhino when I go to check the stands. She has been riding with me since she was born and is usually singing and making all kinds of noise and all that stuff that kids do. My theory is the if we do it all summer and fall the deer are just used to it as well as the sound of the Rhino.
It was a beautiful, sunny warm fall day and we were enjoying our usual ride. We have been working really hard on being quiet in the woods, which for her is often a struggle. This day however she was a bit tired from all the fresh air she had earlier in the day and was in a semi trance like state . I always have my bow with and release on just in case we see something I would like to shoot. We seldom see anything but does and since our herd here is so depleted I have chosen not to take one this year.
As we rode along I notice antlers behind a windfall. I could see from quite a distance away that it was not a buck I wanted to harvest this year so we just rode until we could get fairly close. I wanted to practice getting out and getting the bow out of the case but he bolted and ran a short distance away. Little girl thought it was fun and we continued on our way.
We rode through the woods for about a 1/2 hour, checking each stand and looking for deer or signs of the approaching rut. As we circled around and came close to where the small buck had been earlier, we watched the woods closely to see if we could see him. As we approached the T- trail I glance up in front of us and realized there was a deer standing right in front of us.
I said to our little girl, “look a deer”. At that moment I also realize what I first thought was a doe, was actually a very nice buck. His antlers were beyond his ears and I didn’t see them up against the background brush at first. I whispered, “Mommy wants to shoot that buck” as I slid out and around the Rhino, to get the bow out of the case.
I was amazed as he stood there like a statue, 30 yards in front of us broadside. As I was putting the arrow into my bow and clipping my release to the bow, the semi comatose child comes out of her trance and yells…”Hi mister buck!” and she waves wildly at him.
Now some of you are probably thinking…of course, she didn’t want mommy to shoot him. Quite the contrary, as he starts running (and waving back at her with his tail) she starts yelling at me quite miffed. “Shoot him mommy, shoot him!”.
She is looking at me in total disgust. Her little wrinkled up forehead, hands on hips and lip pushed out. I am sure she was thinking “What is wrong with you? Why didn’t you shoot him?. At this point all I can do is laugh until I almost pee my pants.
This is one episode of the “deer that got away” that will live on, in my most favorite hunting memories forever. I have a favorite hunting memory of each and every one of my children and not one of them involves killing a deer. It is all about taking them with, having fun with them and making memories! And sometimes waving bye bye to Mr. Buck!