My dad began letting me hunt with him when I was 5 years old. I began to muzzle loader hunt with him when I turned 11 years old. Even before that I would wait patiently at the window for him to come home from one of his adventures.
Dad and I before I began hunting
The morning began with my father and I climbing into a double ladder stand overlooking a pinch point where two large ridges came together. As the sun came up, my father began to gently grunt at a deer that had stood up on the opposite ridge. The deer began to move down the ridge into the open hollow below us. As the deer cleared the thick brush he realized the deer was a great little 8 point. My father gently tapped me on the shoulder and whispered “K.D. get your gun up, nice buck”. As I raised my muzzleloader the buck crossed into a clear shooting lane and stopped. I took a deep breath and squeezed the trigger on my little Knight Muzzleloader. When the smoked cleared I saw a beautiful basket racked eight point lying in the leaves. I can still remember the giant bear hug my father gave me as the smoke was clearing.
After enjoying a few minutes together rejoicing over my harvest my father and I loaded up my buck on the four-wheeler and headed out of the woods back towards our house. As we came to the final gate leading back to our driveway I spotted two large body deer about 100 yards across the field. I tapped my father on the shoulder to alert him quietly of the two deer. He slipped off the four-wheeler seat and made his way to the nearest tree on the fence row.
When my father got to the tree the deer began to move off. I raised my gun and realized that one of the deer was a large eight point. I laid my gun down and grabbed my Knight and Hale grunt call. I blew on the call as hard as I could. The buck postured and turned to look in my direction. My father squeezed the trigger and the buck jolted off across the field about 50 yards. I blew on the call again as hard as I could to hopefully stop the brute before he reached the tree line. I buck stopped again and began to look in our direction. During this stare down my father had evidently reloaded his muzzleloader. The buck stared us down for what seemed to be 30 seconds before finally turning broadside again. My dad squeezed off his second shot and the buck dropped.
My father and I had just pulled something off that most boys and their father never accomplish in the whitetail woods. We had killed two nice eight points in the span of about an hour. That day will always be special to both of us. It is one of the happiest and most memorable days of my hunting career.
To this day my father is still my hero. He has literally taught me everything I know about the outdoors and I can't even begin to thank him for this.