Living here in the Cascade Mountains I definitely get to enjoy the four seasons of spring, summer, winter and fall. But living this close to the woods and abundant wildlife, we also have another four seasons. Deer season. Elk season. Pheasant season and duck season.
Since my son was little, he has had a passion for hunting and this year he drew his first buck tag. It was with much excitement and enthusiasm that he planned his first big rifle hunt with his grandpa, whom he has spent endless hours with watching hunting shows, shooting rifles and bows, discussing hunting techniques and finally shooting his first buck. I believe every child needs to find their passion and if my son could hunt every day of the year he would.
It was an extremely memorable week for Killian and he allowed me to interview him about his first big successful hunt and what it means to him.
So when did you first became interested in hunting and do you remember your first hunting trip?
Well, I've been interested in hunting ever since I can remember because I was born into a family of hunters. The first hunting trip I really remember is when my dad shot a spike and when I went up to touch the deer my sister freaked out because she thought I would get rabies from touching it.
Describe how you spent the day during this hunting season and who you went hunting with.
I went hunting with my grandparents and great aunt and uncle. We would get up around 5:00 am and go to our hunting spot about an hour later, then walk for a few hours looking for bucks. It was cool being out in the woods with my family and getting to hang out, look for deer and talk about different things.
What happened opening morning.
We had gotten to our hunting spot and it was about 9:15am and we had just been out walking and we saw two bucks and a doe. I found a rest for my rifle on a tree and one of the bucks was moving through the trees. Then when he stopped, I put the crosshairs behind his shoulders, clicked the safety off, took a deep breath and pulled the trigger.
The deer ran about 10 yards, turned, ran back to where I had shot him and died.
Do you remember your first thoughts when you shot the deer and it died?
I wasn't really thinking about anything, I was just really excited that I got it.
How big of a buck was it?
It was a forked horn.
You ended up hunting for the whole week with your family. What were some of the most memorable moments?
Shooting my first deer, and getting to hang out with my family. I also learned how to skin a deer, quarter it and break it down for the meat processors.
What are you going to do with the meat?
We are going to make steaks out of the backstrap and tenders. The prime cuts are going to be made into hamburger. We ended up with two deer and so we will all share it.
What was the biggest surprise of the week?
When my grandpa gave me his hunting rifle (Bertha). It's a Remington 700 series rifle.
Why is this such an important thing to you and what does it mean?
Well, it is important because it is my grandpa's favorite hunting rifle and he shot his largest deer and elk with it. In fact he's shot too many deer or elk with it to count.
What it means to me is I feel that it is my grandpa telling me how proud he is of me and that he thinks I'm responsible and that he can trust me with his favorite gun.
(editors note: Killian's grandpa sent me an email saying how proud he is of him and that he is giving Killian his favorite rifle so that Killian can now have his own favorite rifle.)
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When I received the email from Killian's grandpa regarding the passing down of his rifle, I did what any proud mom would do and got all teary eyed (ok, I flat out cried) because I realize how important and meaningful this hunting trip has been for both of them. It has been a week of bonding, laughing, talking, being in the woods, and just spending family time together. I am proud of how my son has handled himself as a hunter and for being responsible when it comes to handling a gun.
As I spoke with Killian on the phone the night he found out he was receiving his grandpa's rifle, he said to me (and I couldn't have said it better),
"Mom, this has been the best week of my life. I shot a buck, grandpa gave me his rifle and the Yankee's won."