Dad, shoot the one with the big horns!

2006 was a good hunting year.  The best part was that I was able to spend some quality time with my six year old, Jacob. I am trying to teach him that hunting isn’t always about the killing or the size of the antlers, but rather the time that you spend out in the field and the people that you spend it with.  I think that’s something we’ll have to keep working on next year!

Our first trip this year was to Wyoming to hunt doe antelope using their reduced price doe tags.  Jacob had been antelope hunting there last year with me and we were able to harvest some nice buck antelope.  So I figured this year would be fun as well.  While I believe he had a good time, I am not sure that it was what he was expecting.

We left early that September morning with my father and my friend Tony and headed west out of Laramie for what was supposed to be a day of fun. For those of you who have been antelope hunting in Wyoming, you know that it is not very difficult to find antelope. Immediately we were upon a herd of over 20 antelope.  Now remember we are using the reduced price doe tags … Jacob starts yelling “Dad, shoot the one with the big horns!” After twenty minutes of explaining that we were only hunting the females and the reasons why you need to shoot the gals as well as the guys, he turns to me with tears in his eyes and said “But I like the horns!”   We talked some more, got things straightened out (or so I thought) and continued on our hunt. Shortly after this, I harvested a nice healthy doe. When my son caught up I said “What do you think?”   His reply?  “Neat, but how come you didn’t shoot the one with the big horns?”

Lesson learned: Teaching a 6 year old that hunting is about more about the hunt than the size of the antlers may need some work. I am sure that most of you out there that hunt have interesting stories similar to this. Either as the one doing the teaching or doing the learning. I happened to be doing both teaching and learning that day and I am looking forward to many more adventures with my son Jacob and my 8 month old son Caleb when he gets old enough. So drop me a few lines and let me hear your adventures.

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