My Dad grew up hunting to help feed his family in south Louisiana. The game was ducks, geese, rabbits, squirrels, blackbirds, or any other critter they could put in a pot. In 1969 while dad was teaching me and my brother the art of woodsmanship, I questioned him on how many deer he had taken. I was shocked when he told me he had never taken a deer. He explained that the small game, duck, and geese were everywhere and deer were harder to hunt. Besides the only gun they had was a single shot shotgun and buckshot was expensive.
In 1971, we were living in Houston and the three of us headed out early on our way to West Columbia to do some squirrel hunting at Mr. Alex’s place. We were just about to the woods when my dad got his first deer. It was a perfect shoulder shot with a 1971 Chevy Belair. Once he stopped the car and determined that nobody was hurt and the car suffered only minor damage to the grill, we started looking for the deer. We found a dead button buck in the ditch behind us. We put him in the trunk and headed on to Mr. Alex’s house. The local game warden was called to report the collision. Dad followed the warden’s instructions and we ate the deer.
Fast forward to 1996 in the woods of northeast Texas. Dad was hunting along a powerline easement while I was in the bottom. At 10:30 am I started my walk back to the cabin when a shot rang out. It sounded like it came from dad’s direction but in the woods, it’s hard to tell. As I came to the powerline clearing, I could see dad walking south. I headed in his direction. He stopped, looked down, unslung his rifle, and knelt down. As I got closer, I saw dad with his right hand on a deer’s neck. “Dad, you ok?” I asked. He look at me and replied, “I’m thankful.”
Dad died in May of this year, but his memory lives on.
Have a safe and memorable hunting season.