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Outdoor adventures: Season opens with big bangs

If you remember where we left off, we were rapidly approaching the first deer shotgun season. As always, we had some real high expectations going in. 

Saturday morning, I found myself on the ground alongside my wife, Jill. We had a great setup and a steady south wind blowing right in our face. The first 2 hours of sunlight passed with no sightings.

It was right around 8:30 when we caught movement in the trees some 100 yards to the west. Sure enough, here comes a pretty, young eight-point buck. As they so often do this time of the year, this deer had a doe on his mind and was walking head down and approaching our location quickly.

Now this thing was gonna come and sit right on my lap if I didn’t get him to stop, and he wasn’t listening to any vocalization I was making. I pretty much just had to yell “Hey, stupid” to get this dude to put on the brakes.

Finally, at 12 yards, he stopped, and the end was swift. One shot from the New England Firearms 20-gauge, and that was all she wrote. It took about 2 minutes for the wife to remind me who was providing meat for the family. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I got it.

This was all well and good for us, but the cool news of the weekend came later. As the text message rolled in, I was pumped to see my buddy’s boy smiling big behind his first deer ... on his first hunt.

I thought I just had to share the story with you all. Saturday evening, Gabe Olinger and his boy, Gavin, were set up in some trees facing the south with a steady wind in their face.

Dad says they spotted these deer some 500 yards away, and Gavin immediately had the scope on them. Remember, this is Gavin’s first hunt, so you can understand he’s ready to shoot. Like, right now.

Dad was able to reassure Gavin that the deer were coming their way and a 500-yard shot was probably pretty low-percentage with a shotgun.

Well, it wasn’t long before the deer were right on top of the father-son whitetail team. Dad tells me the buck was grunting the whole time and, at the last minute, “I had to grab the gun and the boy and spin them both around to get him ready to shoot.”

Gavin barely got a chance to get the gun shouldered and pull the trigger, as the buck was right on top of him. His first shot at his first deer on his first hunt, and we got a good deer down. Way to go, Gavin!

What a neat deal. I mean, it really shows you the whole spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday season in general.  Gavin’s mom, Nicole, had just lost one of the most special people in her life. So this whole deal really was a godsend.

When you throw in the fact that dad could have shot this deer Friday and let him walk in hopes his son might get a crack at him? Well, if you’re like me, you believe things happen for a reason.

So everyone, please please enjoy the holiday season. Get outside with the ones you love.

Like the old adage states, “Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.”

Go Catfish!

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