Add a house in the country mix, in a great family and then throw in various wildlife in the back yard and it adds up to my American Dream. We got orders to FT Campbell a few years back. So my wife and I decided to look for a house of our own, we did not want to rent, we wanted something permanent. Of course a major requirement for our house was country living with wildlife. So I was in Korea when my wife took a road trip to Clarksville to meet our real estate agent to look at some houses.
After a day of looking she sent me a message containing details about each house. One in particular she mentioned had turkeys in the driveway as they pulled in to look at the house. Enough said that was all I needed. I do love hunting very much, my favorite hobby first and foremost. Hunting is second to spending time with family and friends. But combined the two equals great times all around.
After moving in and getting settled in mid-summer I still had time to scout and prepare for the upcoming season. And that I did, so I thought. Well scan ahead 2 more years before I actually had an idea of the deer movements and patterns. Well it was a full year of scouting then a year of deployment which did of course begin right before hunting kick off of that 2nd year we lived there.
So now I was back from an Iraq rotation in late October just a couple of weeks away from rifle season. Our hunting teams were either my and my oldest daughter or me and my youngest son, both teenagers mind you. Yeah it was never all 3, they wouldn't coexist in a tree blind for that long a time without war breaking out.
So the day finally came, the day after Thanksgiving and the lineup was me and Annie, my oldest daughter. It worked out that way because Kevin had gotten in a little school trouble and he happened to be grounded from cool stuff for a little while. So went with the plan, got up early and headed out the back door.
It was a big thrill to me to be able walk out of my back door for a few minutes, sit down in my ground blind and watch deer go by with one of my kids. If there is anything better in life, than I would like to experience. So there we were about 6:30 am searching and scanning along the game trail heading through our little back yard forest.
Picture a giant letter Y about 45 yards in length from the tail of the Y to the split in the Y. From where we sat, at the Y's tail end looking down the trail towards the split, if any of that makes sense.
It was just after day break when a family of 4 does walk out of the brush pretty much dead center of the Y. We could tell they were does or at least could see just enough to know they were not sporting large antlers on their heads. They stuck around for about 5 minutes and headed off down the left split in the Y.
My weapon of choice at the time was my 7mm Mag and Annie decided to use my fancy new crossbow I had just bought. Yes the 7 Mag was a little much for the area I was hunting but at the time I did not have a big selection of weapons to choose from, plus I knew with a good shot with that 7 Mag I wasn't going to have to do a lot of chasing.
We sat another half hour and it was full daylight by then when a single large doe came back out of the left split in the Y. She stopped right in the middle of the trail set up for a perfect broad side shot as if she was the only creature in the forest.
The deal was Annie gets 1st shot, then me. She took aim for about 5 seconds then said she couldn't do it she was too nervous. I was already watching through my scope waiting on her shot. She declined the shot, and boomski, I fired. I hit the doe just forward of the shoulder and into the neck. She turned a flip and landed on the same side I hit her on.
To tell both sides of the story. Annie claims to this day that I only gave her about 3 seconds and she never declined, but I just shot instead. So there you have both sides. Kevin being grounded was waiting in the house and came out when he heard the shot. All three of us drug her out of the woods, dressed her, checked her in at the local check in station, got her processed and mom made the worlds greatest jerky with her. It had to be one of my highlight hunts. It was a family affair and it all took place right in our own back yard, very much one of my happier hunting experiences. I hope everyone gets to hunt like I do. I do it for the fun and the memories. If I never harvest another animal but still get to go on the trips with family and friends it would all still be worth it.