I’ve started bowhunting when I was about 16, about 36 years ago. I took a brief break from deer hunting altogether for a few years, but even when I started back I went back to bowhunting.
Well it’s been about 6-7 years since I released an arrow on anything but a target and yesterday I finally found a live target I wanted.
It was cool and windy and the deer were moving. I wasn’t after the deer though, at least none that I saw. I was after a loan boar that kept showing up on camera. About 0915 I see him coming down the trail. He stops but is sorta head on, no shot. Hogs being hogs, something spoils him and he runs about 5 yards to my right and is perfectly broadside about 22 yards. I draw, put the pin on his shoulder, and release. It had been a while since I‘ve watched an arrow punch through an animal and blood exiting the hole as he’s running away. I’m not gonna lie, it had been a while since I’ve had that feeling and it felt great!
I knew the hog wasn’t going far and watched him run a direct line away and slightly veer off. I text my son who lives across from me and told him to bring his baby brother CJ to come help me track. Mainly just to get CJ some experience as to what goes on...he’s 5.
Within 20 minutes they are there and CJ is in his “invisible” clothes to help. CJ helped with the blood trailing and we found the hog less than 100 yards away and 5 yards from the road, lol. Once we moved it to the road, CJ had to make sure it was dead and shot it with his Red Ryder.
After a celebratory lunch we called around and found a place we could go and pass shoot some dove. This would be CJ’s “first” dove hunt. We were in a pasture surrounded by cotton but across the road was a corn field. Dove were plentiful but just not flying over us. The first bird I knocked down landed on out in the cotton and I retrieved it. The second bird is where things get interesting. The bird landed right on the edge on the cotton across the fence and CJ immediately says I’ll get it. Now those that know CJ’s story knows he’s special and does things at his own pace, so that really surprised me.
He crawled under the cattle gate and ran to where he saw the bird drop. He looked at it a minute and said, “Yep, it’s dead” and then picked it up. He brought it back and I went to take it and put it in my stool and he said he’d hold it. The entire afternoon he did not put that dove down. He even named it Rosco, lol. We went back to my sons for dinner after the hunt and he held that dove while he ate. He spent the night there and my DIL text and said he fell asleep on the couch with the dove and she had to pry it out of his hand to wrap it up and set it outside. This morning after he woke up, his first words were, “Where’s Rosco?”
The title had a dual meaning...been a long time since I’ve released an arrow and it’s been a long time since my boys were this young.