Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trophy Afternoon

Benjamin took me hunting Sunday afternoon. I must say, I was really impressed with him! He may only be 11 years old, but this afternoon, he showed much maturity.

Mid-afternoon, he started saying that he and I were going hunting. After I conceded to Benjamin, he began gathering appropriate clothing – not just for him but for me too! After I got dressed, he checked with me several times to make sure that I was wearing the appropriate amount of clothing for the evening temperatures.

As we walked from the truck to the woods, my little man was all about safety. He stopped at the sign-in box and wrote the appropriate information (I sure liked it when he wrote “Benj and Mom” in the who section!). During our walk to the stand, he walked ahead of me, pointing to me where I should walk or what I should do. Upon his suggestion, we brushed our feet across a freshly cut pine bough. He reminded me to lift my feet when walking to keep quieter. He carried the gun with extreme safety, always aware of where I stood and where the gun was situated.

In the pine stand, where we walked to keep us concealed as long as possible, I inhaled deeply the pine forest scent. I do miss my time in the woods! The pine trees are a decade old now, planted the winter after Daddy died. The views across the hayfields were beautiful from Mama’s porch, but the promise of pine income is much better!

Benjamin had such an order, such a process, to the way we entered the stand, how we sat, gun placement, and other small details, like where the binoculars hung and where the deer scent was sprayed! I was about half the way through my new February Southern Living magazine when I caught movement from the right-hand eastern side of the box. Slowly but surely, we were rewarded with the view of wildlife that moved into the food plot.

Eleven turkeys gathered at the edge of the food plot. They enjoyed a quick snack and then promptly formed a line that moved westward across the longest portion of the plot. They were heading to the woods to roost for the evening – what an amazing and enjoyable scene! About five minutes after the last one half walked, half fluttered, into the woods, one lone truly came into view. At first we thought she was a latecomer but soon realized she preferred to do her own thing. She sampled all that the food plot had to offer and later moved into the adjacent pine stand. We heard her wings flapping as she began her evening roost.

Although we did not have the opportunity to see a trophy buck, I enjoyed our afternoon together in the deer stand. The real trophy was that I had the opportunity to view my son in a setting in which he is completely comfortable. I am so pleased and proud of him!

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