Hunting Genes and Deer Poop
My grandfather has a theory that hunting runs in the genes, and looking at the number of children and grandchildren of his that love hunting the same way he does it adds credibility to the theory, for sure. I know Iâ€™m thankful that my dad and granddad frequently made an effort to get me outside to enjoy the pursuit of game, and because of that I want to give the same effort for my children. It was with this in mind, as well as the fact that in case hunting is not genetic, I donâ€™t want to take any chances, I decided a few weeks ago that we (of course I mean ‘I’) had spent too many Saturdays watching football and not enough of them outside recently.
So, Shanna and I loaded up the kids and headed for the hills to do some coyote hunting. Actually seeing a coyote was not really the object of this adventure, but rather to get the kids â€“ and in particular our two-and-a-half year old â€“ a real hunting adventure. I figured weâ€™d have to stumble into one dumb coyote if we were to actually get something, but the experience would be worth the effort regardless of our success.
Getting the kids ready was an ordeal and we didnâ€™t leave the house till after lunch, and once we arrived at our spot, it was another ordeal getting them out of the car and dressed warmly. Our two-and-a-half year old spent most of the time while we dressed his younger brother running up and down the road and exploring the sagebrush. By the time we were ready to hike up the hill, I think heâ€™d already exhausted a good portion of his energy. But, his mouth still ran a mile a minute and it was nice to see his pure enjoyment as he toted along a toy rifle. About half way up the hill, it became apparent that if we wanted to reach the top before dark I would need to carry him.
Our effort did not pass without reward as we saw over one hundred deer including a nice buck that posed for us on the skyline. We saw several deer within 150 yards and when I howled for the first time, our two-and-a-half year old promptly raised his toy rifle to his shoulder like a seasoned pro ready to line up a snap shot. Perhaps the best moment of the outing was when he learned one of lifeâ€™s important lessons: how to identify deer poop.
And, if anyone wants to argue that isnâ€™t an important life lesson, I will explain to them the proud look on his face when he pointed to a pile of old and dried droppings and excitedly announced, â€œDaddy, deer poop!â€ I think heâ€™s well on his way to being a wise hunter.