For those of you that read my story, The Old Days, you will recall that I said the story had a later happy ending. This is the story of that happy ending. Fast forward a decade and you will find my dad still reeling from having missed so many times on our wild boar hunting trip in Tennessee.
You see my dad was a proud and simple man. He worked hard to support a family with six children so very little of his life was devoted to himself. The things he did have and cherish were his family, his work ethic, a sense of right and wrong and his shooting ability. So, it was a devastating blow to his pride when he failed to score the first time on the hunting trip. He got the boar in the end, but the boars really got him.
I decided to help my dad redeem himself by giving him another hunting trip for Christmas. He and I would travel to a hunting preserve in Pennsylvania to do another wild boar hunt. I know emotions run high regarding high fence hunts, but my dad was not a spring chicken when we did the first wild boar hunt and now a decade later, he really was not up for a grueling hunt. The high fence preserve fit the bill for the level of hunting my dad was up for.
The plan was that he would rifle hunt and I would bow hunt. The high fence hunt is not really my cup of tea but this was not a trip for me, but for my dad. Along with the hunt present I gave my dad, I also gave him a box of .30-.30 Winchester shells and the admonishment, “practice dad, practice this time.” You see, the last hunt he went on with me, he just shot a rifle that he had not shot in decades.
The guide took me out first and like I expected, even with the bow, it was not very challenging. The guide drove the hogs into my direction and with a fence keeping them in they really had no escape and I was able to arrow a nice big black Russian looking boar.
Now, it was my dad’s turn. I tagged along with my dad and guide. The ground was snow-covered and the air was crisp. It was a good day to hunt. We hiked along until we spotted a herd of hogs about one-hundred yards away. It was unfortunate that they saw us too. One particularly big black boar with spikey black coarse hair was in the lead. Without a word, my dad raised his rifle and took a bead on it.
The blast from the pre-1964 lever action Winchester rifle broke the silence of the day. The hog immediately piled up. My dad made a one shot kill at a running hog. He hit him at a distance of 100 yards right in the heart; it was a textbook shot.
My dad got his hog, but more importantly he got redemption. Amazing what a little practice will do for a hunter’s accuracy and amazing what a good shot will do for a man’s soul and pride.
I was there when my dad told his friends the account of the hunt and I added to the difficulty of his shot. He beamed with pride and the past hunt was forgotten among the congratulations and back slaps from his friends.
We both had shoulder mounts done of our hogs and displayed them proudly. Yes, it was a high-fence hunt, but does that really matter? It was a son’s gift to his father and that is all that matters.