May Not Seem Like Something Big

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To a seasoned whitetail hunter the buck portrayed in that picture accompanying this tale might not seem like a big deal. But to my fine son in law, his brother in law and this father in law to both, it was certainly something darn special to us. I have two wonderful daughters, full grown and beautiful women now. As chance might have it, neither seemed to care much for my hunting and that was always fine with me. They are individuals and were raised to be so.

What has turned out to be something special however, is that both their husbands have joined me for years now on many hunts. Even more special, I am very proud to say that I was there for both their first deer. Both deer turned out to be bucks and I could not be any prouder than I am to have been involved with each of those two very special harvests.

My girls are only about 2 yrs apart and as chance would have it, they both met these wonderful fellas around the same time and Ed was soon hosting two wonderful large weddings in one year. And a very special year that was  for us all! ($$$$ notwithstanding! LOL).

My younger daughter's husband-to-be was the first to connect and he shot a beautiful Tennessee 8 point while hunting with me one cold December morning. This was a great day, since I'd also scored just two days prior on a nice deer. As a present to him we got that special deer mounted and it sits proudly in his den today.

My older daughter's husband began to accompany us on our hunting trips as well and on one of our holiday forays, he calmly drew a bead on his first deer and now our hunting family was complete. I hope you can visualize just how happy a time this was for all of us. Me, as the father in law who urged both to go as often as they could, could not have felt more proud that my two sons in law were able to share that timeless moment together.

So, to finalize the point of this story that buck, average as he might be, that was the defining Boone and Crockett moment for us as a hunting clan. There we were, all three of us men together as our special women waited patiently at home for us. We had experienced a very special day between us and it was made that much more special when we arrived back home for a big family dinner (and celebration!) This was truly a day that a huge buck could not have improved on, believe me.

Just this season we were lucky enough to experience a trifecta. I took a Kentucky buck on Sunday, son in law Mike took a great Tennessee nine point on Wednesday and son in law Brandon took a nice buck on Friday. How's that for a truly fine family Thanksgiving week!

There are also Grandkids now as well, five of them. Every one of them will have the opportunity to join Pops, Brandon and Mike afield in the future. I think they are already feeling the fever! 

If you look at the pictures below, you'll see one is pretty blurry. Thinking back now, I wonder if that's because my eyes were so blurry as I snapped that photo.


Deer Slayer's picture

 This is what hunting is all

 This is what hunting is all about sharing the experiences and passing it on with others. Friends or family. My dad passed it on to me. Now, both my dad and I will be passing it on to my son. It was a great story. I enjoyed the pictures as well. These kind of moments will be talked about and passed on to your future generations. Thanks for sharing your story. 


groovy mike's picture

very nice

Very nice!  THIS is what makes a family hunting tradition.  Its not all about big deer, its about sharing the moment.  Its awesome that someone had the foresight to have a camera along too.  Well done on all counts Thanks for sharing it!


ManOfTheFall's picture

Great story, I really enjoyed

Great story, I really enjoyed it. I like the pictures as well. I was there for the experience when my son shot his first deer, a doe. I was also there when he shot his first buck. Those moments will be etched in my memory forever and can't be topped by to many things. Soon I will be able to enjoy my grandson's first harvest. He is a little over 4 years and I am really looking forward to the day. I'm still waiting on my oldest son's, my daughter's and my wife's first harvest. Those moments will be just as special. Once again, thanks for the story. 

Rem2arms's picture

Thats a GREAT story and

Thats a GREAT story and rather big or not in my opinion is nothing compared to the look on the face of the shooter, the memory that was made, the retelling of the story to any of the family members that didnt happen to be there at the time and the pride of taking the buck. I wish I could be around to see any hunter who takes thier first and get a picture of thier face, Congrats on the deer !!

jaybe's picture

In my opinion, any legal deer

In my opinion, any legal deer is a trophy.

Maybe that's because the majority of our deer here in Michigan look pretty much like the one in your picture.

I hunt public land, so the whole idea of "letting them go and letting them grow" is a fantasy.

If you let one go it just means the hunter over the hill will take him home in the back of his pickup.

That's a great story about getting your sons-in-law involved in hunting.

I have three sons-in-law (fortunately, our daughters all got married in different years), but none of them hunt deer.

I have gotten one of them interested in fishing, so that's good.

I'm now working on the ten grandchildren, hoping that one or more of them will be interested in getting out in the great outdoors with Papa.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful tale.


Rem2arms's picture

I feel the same way, any and

I feel the same way, any and every is a trophy.