Shhhhh there they are 600 yards away! I’ll back up the truck, get out quietly, grab your gun! Here we go dad the hunt is on.
One day ago my dad had never shot his 30.06. He’d never stalked big wild game, he never belly crawled 200 yards to get into position to take the perfect shot. Today, today was my turn to teach my dad how to hunt and stalk big game. For years my dad has taught me. He’s showed me how to be a man, how to tie a knot, drive a boat and speak to a lady. He was there when I took my first shot on my first hunt. He showed me how to clean and cook the dove from that first hunt. He was there to see the joy of my first shot and my first kill. My dad has always been there teaching and showing me how to do everything, but today it’s my turn to teach and show him.
My dad never has hunted anything bigger than a turkey, never harvested anything with four legs larger than a rabbit. So when he said he wanted to go on my next antelope hunt I was excited. For years I’ve been harvesting large game animals and my dad has never been able to go. So when I heard this I bought his tags and sighting in his rifle for him. (A rifle he got as a trade for some handyman work, a gun that he never shot until this trip)
Back to the stalk. We are belly crawling up a ridge, wind is swirling in the valley, we crest and there is the herd 175 yards from us. The valley grass is just low enough that our bipods allow our scope to peak right over them. Our buddy Wade and myself tell my dad “see the big one on the right? That’s the one you want.”
“Dad aim right behind the shoulder, wait for her to turn and show her side , Okay take the shot whenever you want” I hold my breath, look through my scope and watch in excitement for what is to be one of the proudest moments In our father son hunting adventures.
My dad takes a deep breath, steadies himself and “BOOM” pulls the trigger. The bullet flys, hits it’s mark perfect,
she does the bullet buck, We see that it’s a solid hit, I yell, “smoked her, got her, got her”
I look over and see the joy in my dads face, the excitement he has. This must have been what he saw in my face the first time i harvested my first dove. Wade shakes his hand I run over and high 5 him screaming you did it, you did it. My dad has just shot & harvested his first big game animal. Not only his first but one of the toughest, fastest animals in the hardest landscapes. We head over to where she got hit and 20 feet away there she is, its a beautiful lung shot.
I gave my dad a huge hug and started to tear up. Here is a man who has showed me so much and now I, the son got to show him something. I was there to see it all. My dad bent down, placed his hand on the antelope and just smiled!
As my dad looked at his harvest he smiled and me and said now what. For me the teaching had just begun, I taught him how to field dress his game, how to hold the knife, where to cut, showed him how to skin, quarter, and clean his kill. For years my dad has heard me speak about my joy of “from field to plate”. He has eaten my meals, seen the pictures and heard the tales. But today my dad got to see what it’s all about. I felt like a proud son coming home from school and showing his dad the picture he drew at school. All though today it was not a picture on the fridge it was a 190 pound animal.
When I tell people that I hunt for the meat, for the adventure, most don’t understand why I don’t just buy my meat at the store like everyone else. My dad now understands it, he has seen the start and the finish. He felt my joy of being the only hands that touch my meal. when you grow a carrot in your garden you tell everyone that it’s the best carrot you’ve eaten. Try harvesting your own fresh wild organic meat and see if you ever eat store bought meat again.
My dad and I will share this moment forever, we will look back on this day and tell the tale. About the one shot one kill, about throwing it on our shoulders and hiking 2 miles back to the truck. About the time that the Son taught the Father and the Father made the son proud! ..