I have always enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid hunter in high school and college, but as the career and then family came along hunting was one of the hobbies that became a casualty. The experience of waking early in the morning and hearing the earth and it’s inhabitants wake for the day or sitting in a blind as the sun sets and hearing the night come to life are experiences that I have enjoyed sharing with my children. Mostly we have become avid fishers, but we have had an occasional duck hunt, dove hunt, hog or deer hunt. The boys never really took to the early morning cold, but Summer was always up for the adventure. One afternoon my friend Kenny and I were dove hunting along a fence line and Summer was about 6 years old. She would spot the dove coming in and when we would shoot them Summer would go out and retrieve the dove from the field. I can still picture her holding up a dove in each hand above her head in the field with a big smile, “I got two!”.
I also recall sitting in a blind at dusk with Summer when I had lost the ability to see and suggested we go in. Summer wanted to wait a little longer and her young eyes could see the back of a hog in the distance above the top of the grass. There was no way I could have seen that hog, but it did move a few deer our way and about 15 minutes later a doe walked under the blind. I drew my arrow on her and followed her all to and from the blind, but did not shoot. Summer was bumping my side whispering “shoot, shoot”. I did not shoot that time. We only had a few occasions to hunt together, but I always enjoy our time together.
I did not get to join Summer on this fine hunt. She was invited to go with a friend to celebrate her birthday and a couple other girl friends.
They went to their south Texas ranch and after proving Summer’s marksmanship from the truck and on the range she got to hunt Saturday morning and evening. In the morning she was so excited to send us a photo of her first doe. That evening she got a hog and her first buck. What a life experience.