By Cary Redman
My son was 2 1/2 years old when we adopted him from the Marshall Islands. I was a proud father who finally had a hunting buddy. Well that was until his mother stepped in and said NO WAY. He's too young to go sit in a deer stand with you. So the first few years he would go with me but stay with his grandmother ( my mother) while I and my dad went to the woods. Each and every time I came in he would say " I heard you shoot did you get one" I'd tell him no, that wasn't me shooting it was farther away that where I was hunting. It was a tradition for him and I go for a ride thru the fields on the 4 wheeler when I came in from hunting. That was enough for him because he has ADHD and he can't sit still for too long before he gets bored.
Well last year 2007 season I finally talked his mother into letting him go with me. I think it was better than his first Christmas morning with us, he had a smile as big as Texas. It was the first weekend after opening weekend I took him. I felt it was safer for him to go with me after the opening weekend. The weather was cool that morning but heated up fast after the sun comes up here in middle Georgia. It doesn't really get cold until mid November if we're real lucky.
We was in the deer blind way before day light and he started shuffling his feet. I had told him that we had to be real quiet and not move while hunting. Well that lasted for about 10 minutes. I explained to him that even if we didn't see or hear the deer while it was dark that they could see us and hear us very well. I explained to him that the woods was the deer's home and they knew their home like we know ours and any movement or strange noise would spook them away. The sun came up that morning and I think it was the most beautiful sunrise I had ever seen; it was even more special with my son sitting with me. I was probably more excited than him just knowing he is there with me. The woods and the large field came to life. Squirrels' and chip monks running all around us never knowing we was sitting there. One did stop and look up at my son and he almost busted a gut to keep from laughing.
I noticed a movement up on top of a terrace in the field; it was 8 or 10 turkeys coming down strait at us. There were two toms strutting around trying to impress the hens that was with them. I wanted to take a closer look so I pulled up my binoculars. It must have been 2-3 minutes when my son says "Daddy, there's a deer" I told him to be quiet that it wasn't a deer it was some turkeys coming off the terrace. He said "NO DADDY, LOOK STRAIT AHEAD" sure enough, there was a small rack buck crossing right in front of us about 100 yards. The deer stopped and looked at me while I managed to ease my binoculars down and ease my rifle up. I shot once and the deer jumped strait up and stared trotting away, I shot 3 more times. I was pretty sure I missed. My son said " DADDY, YOU GOT HIM, HE JUMPED UP LIKE THEY DO ON TV". Well at that point I was pretty proud, I told him we would wait about 30 minutes before we went to track his blood trail. I looked about 250 yards across the field and there stood a deer looking straight at us. I could only see his neck and head. I could not imagine that it being the deer I shot at and missed, well I put the cross hairs on him and shot again. At that point the deer disappeared out of sight. My son said "daddy you got him that time". By this point in time I was ready to wrap that Browning 7 mag around a tree because I was pretty sure I had not missed one but 2 deer that morning. Well by this time my dad and my uncle had heard all the shooting and came to see how many deer I had shot or had missed. They could see the look of disgust on my face, did you get anything they replied. I told them if I did it was luck because I had to reload once before I made my last shot.
We found blood and hair where I shot the first time and then walked toward where I had made my last shot. As well got closer my son got more excited, DADDY, YOU GOT HIM I KNOW YOU DID. As we walked over that terrace there lay a buck with one set of horns on one side because the other side was broken off from fighting. My son says "There's my deer" I asked him, how is it your deer, I shot it. With a big smile he said "That's my deer, because if I hadn't of told you about him you would have never seen him because you were too busy looking at the turkeys on the hill" so that's how my son got his first deer.
The season is not far away now and he still reminds me on a daily basis, "Daddy, you go ahead and look at turkeys and I'll spot the deer this year for us".