Making Memories and Filling the Freezers—Keegan and Alistair’s First Deer

With my wife on a cruise with her mom, my four boys and I spent a week with my side of the family catching fish, shooting critters and doing some quality men activities at Yellowbush.

First we fished. Spinner baits and inline spinners fooled a whole bunch of bass in the overstocked 3 acre pond my great granddad dug in the 1950s.

I didn’t fish much, just undid tangles, unhooked fish, and steered the trolling motor.

Of course, it was a fishing tournament with points awarded for the first, biggest, most, and most exotic. We had different winners each day.

We helped do some deer hunt preparation–fixing a feeder and inspecting box blinds.

We also did some squirrel hunting.  My lab Fiona does as good a job retrieving squirrels as she does birds.   

We also made a few digs at the former Caddo Indian camps on the hillside of my family’s land.  We usually find pottery shards and some interesting arrowheads.  This trip yielded one good point and some excellent shards with pretty markings and colors.  

My little middle son’s birthday coincided with the trip.  Their aunt and grandmother put on a fine birthday party.  They also spent an evening carving pumpkins. 

I managed to take a couple deer during bow season while there, and discovered once again how versatile my lab is. She tracked and actually grabbed my wounded buck.  A little knife-work and it was done.  Fiona on the retrieve!

But the big event was my 8 and 10 year old bagging their first deer.  Saturday morning was “Youth Weekend” one of the great ideas Texas Parks and Wildlife implements giving young hunters first crack at the deer with rifles.  

Alistair, my 8 year old, is crazy about his Uncle Shawn and hunted with him.  I took my ten year old Keegan, and my oldest hunted with his Pawpaw.  

Morning hunts are tough for Keegan, as he is quite the night owl.  

At around 7:30, we heard a kaboom from the seven acre bottom followed by a second shot.   Minutes later we were texted this:   

Big Boy was on the board!  Apparently there was some dancing, a few shouts of victory, and nonstop talking.  It was noted teeth brushing was in order before hitting the stand next time with Uncle Shawn.  Alistair made sure to point out he got his first deer before Keegan.

The gun he used, a 22-250 left the worst exit wound I”ve seen–and it was a 200 yard shot.

Stirred awake by the blast, Keegan scoured the Upper Bottom for any sign of venison activity.  Soon, a figure came walking from 340 yards away, browsing its way to us.  A nice mature doe.  

Keegan struggled with buck fever, shaking nervously as he positioned himself for the shot.  Many opportunities presented itself, the doe turning broadside, pausing, then ambling on.  It got within 125 yards and I thought he was going to miss his chance.

“Keegan, when it stops you need to shoot…..”

“Ok dude, you got it….shoot…..”

“I’m not sure you can wait much longer, better get on her…….”

BAM! 

“Dang buddy you missed.”

“No I didn’t.”

Doe trots twenty yards, and keels over dead.  

“Well, maybe not.”

It was a fine shot and for a sleepy guy. Im proud of him, and he was pleased with himself.  

Oliver and Pawpaw enjoyed their hunt, and saw several deer.   Oliver passed on a doe and a spike holding out for a trophy. 

All in all, we had a good time doing manly things while mom cruised with Grandma.  She got some much needed girl time, and we got to spend a great week with family.  

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