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Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Grandpa Hunt

There was nothing like hunting and fishing with my grandfather. I guess I just liked being in his company no matter what we were doing. We were having our annual Thanksgiving gathering in Wharton TX. My favorite part about this trip was sitting in the deer stand with my grandfather early Thanksgiving morning. My uncle would always get me revved up for the hunt the night before by telling me to watch out for cats and coyotes. He said there was a panther out there but I think he was making this up to get me a little more excited.

This particular Thanksgiving morning was in 1980 and I was 13 years old. My adrenyline was particularly high for this hunt because it was going to be the first time my grandfather was going to allow me to sit in a deer stand by myself. We got up at 4:30 AM to be in the stand by 6 AM. I remember it being a long drive. It was a vey frosty morning, I remember being able to see my breath and there was an inch of frost on the pasture in front of my ground blind. My grandfather was worried to death when he put me in that stand by myself.

I was not allowed to load the gun until I was sitting in my stand and had to lean the gun in the corner on safety. I was not allowed to touch the gun unless I saw a white tail to shoot. He must have told me these rules 50 times on the way over to the deer lease. With a nine year old now, I understand what he was so worried about. I remember it was pitch dark and I kept thinking about that panther my uncle told me about the night before. My grandfather told me he was full of bull so I started to think about seeing a white tail deer.

The sun began to rise and I could see the beautiful frost on the ground. The wind was perfectly still. Within minutes 3 white tail spiked bucks came out of the woods to graze. This was it ! The blood started flowing. I think I could feel my own pulse rate. I picked up my grandfathers World War II era model 77 lever action Winchester 308 and laid it in the window seal. I took the safety off and aimed at one of the bucks. Boom, the buck fell exactly were it was shot, I took aim at a second spike while it scampered to the woods and also hit that deer in the shoulder. I unloaded the last round in my 308 and watched the last spike run to the woods. My grandfather made it to my stand about 10 minutes later.

It is now only about 7:20 in the morning. My grandfather asked me what the shooting was all about. I told him that I have to deer laying in the field. He was perplexed, we loaded up in his truck to find them and load the deer. My grandfather was very old school and he could not believe I had two shoulder shots on those spikes. I was grinning ear to ear.. My grandfather being perplexed began to laugh and asked me why did I shoot 2 deer.

At 13 years old, I did not know what to say other than I could have shot 3 but I did not want to be hoggish. My grandfather had to stop the truck so that he could finish laughing. He must have told this story and what I said a 1000 times. I will never forget that hunt. No matter what kind of big game hunt I have the priveledge to go on will ever top this memory. My grandfather passed away at the age of 92. He bequethed that 308 to me and it is the only deer rifle that I hunt with. I wish that everyone could have a grandfather like mine. Thanks for giving a forum to share such a vivid memory in my life.

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