As my client and I started toward the mouth of the canyon I wanted to hunt that day it looked like the full moon would sink into the western horizon about the same time the sun would be coming up. Shining my flashlight to the base of oak, I motioned for the client to sit down. He did. As I sat down beside him, I whispered we would stay here for a while. I knew we were just above the opening of the canyon. Below us two trails converged, one lead to a food plot and the other toward the primary water hole for the area. I also knew along either side of the two trails were numerous rubs on trees, trees upwards of 10 to 14 inches in diameter. There too, were active scrapes, still active after almost two months worth of visitations by a great variety of bucks.
The day had been fun, albeit a long one. It had started a good three hours before night grudgingly gave way to first light. Coffee, from a pot I kept in my room, helped rouse me a bit, but only a “smidgen”. For the last seemingly 87,000 days, but admitted only the last 45 days, I had been up way before daylight and not gotten to crawl between the sheets before midnight. Thankfully, but also regretfully, my fall and winter hunting season was coming to an end.
My granddaughter, Kathryn Rose, aka, “Katy Rose” strode into my office with a swagger reminiscent of John Wayne. “Papo, it’s time for me to shoot a deer. Both my brothers and my two cousins have been hunting with you for a while and have shot deer. Now, I want to shoot a deer!” I suspect my chest swelled a bit at those words. Katy Rose had hunted with me in the past, but primarily as an observer. She had also shot a variety of guns at the local range in the past with her dad, mother and brothers. On occasion she and I had talked about hunting, and as mentioned she had accompanied me a couple of times when I hunted, well actually mostly looked and scouted.
“I’ll be happy to take you! But we’ve got to do some more homework before we go. I want you to know exactly where to shoot a deer.” She agreed. The next few weeks we spent time looking at photos and videos, where I could show her exactly where to place her shot. Then after a while I handed her a pen and asked her to point out where she would shoot a deer, including some instances where I thought the deer in the photo was positioned where it didn’t really offer a killing shot. In those instances she told me she would not shoot! I loved it and thought she was ready.