There can definitially be something said about persistence and the swell of pride that a father feels when he sees his only son achieve success in his own endevours. In addition, it is truly amazing how a family can come together, just to get things done.
So let me lay this out for you, as some of you may know I come from a long line of outdoorsman and we happen to be hunters. Although you dont see me yet,…. on weekly television, my harvests over the years have been notable and based on what I have been taught, and learned through experience, I have passed that skill set on to my son. This past weekend, we were hunting in New Yorks Southern Tier region, and Sunday Morning happened to be a great day for Daddy’s Special Boy! Around 8:30 am He called me to notify me that he had arrowed a deer. He also said that he was going to wait for a half hour before tracking it because, he felt the shot may have been a little low. At this point I was excited for him. Five minutes later I received a text message ( Ah, Modern Technology) from him stating, he had just arrowed another. My excited turned to jubilation, because I knew he had turned into that alpha predator that he had worked so hard to become. I informed him I would be down to help him out shortly, and give him his due congratulations.
Once arriving back at camp, I had noted that he had one deer recovered and spotted him looking for the other. I began thinking mmm, problems. He explained to me that he was having trouble finding the deer, and that his blood trail was spotty at best. We recreated the scene and my son had done as he was taught. Blood spot, toilet paper, The trail was a clear indicator of the direction the deer was going. Based on the evidence, I knew we had a dead deer walking and a decision had to be made on which part of the forked road to take. By this time my Uncle had arrived back at camp from his morning hunt, and we employed his skills as well. Now knowing what I know regarding deer and their habits, a wounded deer rarely goes up hill. We agreed that our elusive deer had to have gone towards the corn field in search of cover. This is were the reading gets interesting. Somehow, some way , I have been given two gifts by the hunting gods. I know where to put a stand and I have a unique ability to spot blood. I did in fact pick up the trail, and the trail was through the thickest nastiest briar patch, and you can bet I have the cuts all over to prove my dedication to the recovery of this dear. Now two hours had past, and still no harvest. We had lost the trail again, and I was starting to become frustrated.
Now after venting some minor frustration, with a few choice colorful metaphors, I had begun walking the edge of the field, in between the briars and corn in the hopes that I would pick the trail back up. At this moment I looked to my right and inside the briars I could swear my eyes caught movement. Then I saw a twinkle and knew that we had a deer bedded in these briars. Calling out to my son and uncle, they confirmed my suspicion, we knew we had found my sons second deer. We ethicially harvested the deer, and begun the task of feild dressing.
Here is the part of the story that makes me proud as a father. My 17 year old son, had doubled down sucessfuly and after a two hour ride home, we knew the work was only begining. We process our own deer for obvious reasons ( A butcher never goes hungry) and honestly we feel that we do a much better job, and save a few jacks in the process. Having to return to work that night, I knew that it was going to be a long night based on what tasks we had ahead of us. My wife, daughters, and my parents all pitched in and we had the deer processed in no time. I was extremely proud of my son as well as my daughters who dug right in and helped with the boning out process, and between us, I was able to get a 2 hour nap before going into work.
This was by far the most incredible weekend I had experienced in the woods in a long long time. This is why I became a photographer. I will always have this image to look back upon, and it will help me relive that very special day. The shot: taken with a Canon camera, and ISO of 400, an aperture of F-8, with a shutter speed of 1/500 of a second. I also used an external flash to avoid shadows caused by the high sunlight, and the cover of the canopy.
I hoped you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Never giving up, and being able to relive your life through your son is one of the greatest gifts a son can give to a father . Congratulations Wade, you have made your Dad very proud, and for my girls, I am very proud of you two also. Most girls these days would not have helped and gotten their hands dirty. What can I say I am a lucky guy, and a father who is very, very proud of his children.
M. Sargent Photography