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Discussion Starter #1
I've said this before and I'll say it again today just minutes after having to separate a couple kids (one of them the star of this story) at church for fighting (hitting and being bit) over a video game. Raising kids the right way is easily one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever had to do. Todays story isn't about fighting over video games...it's about hunting, and taking a 6 year old out for his first time chasing deer.

bloodhound and I got a pair of red tags for a farm near Blairsville PA and went out to fill them on Saturday. My thought in taking Nick along was that this would be a very safe, laid back way to take him out with very little hunting pressure and see just how well he does. I knew it would be a challenge...one that I was up for and thankfully after knowing Jeff for a little while now too, I knew he was up for it too.

We packed the usual time sinks for Nick - lots of snacks, plenty to drink, a little hand held Leapster video game, a camera and his own binoculars (which are total rubbish) and a spare pair of dad's "good" binocs for him to help us watch for deer.

We set up on a property line bordering the farm we were on, and a neighboring farm with mature, ripe field corn ready to be picked. Nick learned about not having waterproof boots. A short disagreement between my wife and I ended up with Nick not getting an inexpensive pair of water proof boots and he wore his sneakers...with mesh tops...and cotton socks...thru a damp, dew laden field.

Lesson #1 learned. Happy feet make for a happy hunter. Nick was a trooper though and has taken it upon himself to tell mommy he needs boots. We'll be getting boots VERY soon now.

Lesson 2 - silence is KEY, and he worked on his whispering ALL day and he really did lots better than I thought he would. I'm glad I repacked his Cheese-its in a zip lock instead of the foil bags they come in...much less noisy IMO.

Lesson 3 - Navigation and good maps make for a great hunter. Not only do you not get lost - but the map will tell you where the deer are, and where you are NOT allowed to shoot a deer. I think next time i'll have a map with an X marked on it where we plan on sitting and have him lead us to the treasure. I was amazed at how well he was able to interpret what was on the map vs. what he sees in the field.

Lesson 4 - this one was for me. NO matter the outcome, it's still all about spending time in the woods with your buddies. It would have been nice to harvest a deer - but I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to hang out in the field with my little man, and with bloodhound. His patience learned from his own offspring gave me a fresh look on how to handle certain 'inconveniences' and I need to make sure he knows how much I appreciate it. THANKS JEFF!

We'll be doing this again - and a red tag is a great way to take a youngster hunting. There's VERY little risk of running into other hunters, much less bullets flying around, and noone else getting ticked off over a kid that hasn't gotten the finer points of silence, silence, and silence yet. The deer are less pressured, and this was both a hindrance and a benefit...but I think the real reason for not having any targets yesterday was because of a weather change, and the neighboring property was doing alot of work on his fence line while we were afield - certainly things might have been different had these factors not been in play.

We did eventually hear a single snort and what sounded like a bleat in the woods next to us...and after I moved stealthily around the pocket to investigate and possibly push the deer to Jeff and Nick - saw the source - a small 4pt buck staring at me from the edge of the neighboring property cornfield watching as I reached for a non-existant camera phone - it was laying on my backpack at our spot. Lesson 6 learned - ALWAYS keep your phone ON you. Even if you don't have it for the camera - you can always text your buddy to tell them the deer are heading to them...or that it's an illegal animal in another persons property, and it looks like Yassar Arafat with a corncob cigar hanging from it's mouth.

And now...here's a few picks from Nick's point of view.


Our View


Nick and I glassing the field


Camera behind the binocs


I didn't know this...but chocolate milk from Sheetz is VERY important...


Daddy's good mini binocs (Sharper Image focus free 8x25's - VERY clear and tiny), and Nicks fav snack


My good side:


Me and bloodhound


The Navigator


Wet socks and shoes


And this last one we need some help with. these little green things were growing all thru the corn on the end of the field and the deer seemed to leave them alone. where the corn was eaten, these were left all alone. I didn't taste one but they appear to be edible. I told Nick you NEVER eat anything in the woods unless you know exactly what it is.



Hope you enjoy. THANKS again Jeff...I had a great time. Hopefully we get to actually harvest one next time
 

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you can always text your buddy to tell them the deer are heading to them

GREAT story.Nothing like a little one on one.Trust me he won't be a "kid" very long.I hunted and fished with my 3 daughters every chance I could,I have great memories and they continue to call me to go catch some fish.My 19 year old she still hunts with me,although I think I will be going solo this year.Oh yeah I'm not sure but I know you can't use walkies to inform others of game animals moving toward thier position,not sure about cell phones but I imagine it's the same.I know Babe Winkleman got fined a few years back for doing this and It is in the game regs.Take care and my hat is off to you for doing what ALL dads should do.
I'm sure mom will be getting his boots for him soon,wet feet can ruin a day like NOTHING else.

JIM
 

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Discussion Starter #5
don't think soybeans. they look like little cherry tomatoes, but are green with light green longitudinal stripes...they look like a vine of TINY little watermelons.

fordman99 said:
Great read,Thanks for sharing!!
Always awesome to see the little guys involved

(great idea with the shooting stix!!!)
I was gonna put my bipod on the gun, but it's the little short one and I wanted something for a sitting height. When I opened the gun safe saturday morning to get my rifle, I spied the old arrow shafts next to the safe and thought HMMM....

Lashed them together with a little camo paracord and then superglued the paracord to the shafts to keep it from moving and there ya go. they are a touch too short, but they work just fine. WAY lighter than a bipod and just as sturdy IMO. I didn't shoot from them yet, but did take a peek thru the scope and would have no trouble at all holding steady on a 300 yard shot. our distance to the wood line at the end of the field was right about 300 yds.

CORRECTION - we would have blown the dirt up under a deer at that distance. bloodhound was running a 7mm mag and I had the 308 - just measured distance and it was 471 according to google earth. I think i need a laser range finder LOL



from our second sitting position, the view - and measured on GE as 350 yds

 

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Those look like what we called wild tomatoes.
 

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Great story jayd4wg thanks for sharing it..your right nothing like spending time afield when they are that age..enjoy it it goes by real quick..as for that weed I have seen them over the years and have noticed the same thing the deer dont eat em..Im not sure what they are...
 

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Great report & pics!!! Way to go in sparking our precious youths interest in our sport at an early age!!
 

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The plant in question in your last pic is Horse Nettle. It's common in pature fields and along field edges/corn fields. Not mcuh eats it. The "berries" will turn yellow later in the fall. By the way, kudos to you on getting the youngster involved. That's exactly what our sport needs!
 

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No problem, glad I could help. I had a run in with them one day while hunting groundhogs while wearing shorts n sneakers. That was enough for me to know I wanted to leave them alone!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
even more than the barbs...apparently the green fruit is deadly poisonous. the ripe yellow fruit not so much and I now remember seeing them late in the fall. Animals will eat the yellow ones, but not the green. It's a member of the nightshade family - not many plants in that family that are NOT poisonous to some degree.
 
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