If you missed Part 1 of Mr. Andi’s guest post yesterday, be sure to check it out before you read any further!
I reached into my bag and got Nathan’s ear muffs out and put them on him. My rifle and I are old friends. I know it and it knows me. I have never missed a deer with it and have never shot at one more than once. I knew this was a done deal, no question. I waited for the doe to turn and be at the angle I wanted and pulled the trigger. She dropped right where she had been standing. Sarah Kate uncovered her ears and began eagerly looking for it, but she couldn’t see it.
“It’s right there by the power pole, right where it was standing.”
“I can’t see it. Stop it Nathan. Daddy, he took his ear muffs off!”
“It’s OK, I’m done shooting. The pole on the left.”
“Oh, I see it now!!”
She was beaming and she started texting Andi about it. Andi texted me to confirm the story, which I did. We chose to wait until dark to retrieve the deer because there were others hunting nearby and we didn’t want to interfere with them. So we kept watching our shows and keeping quiet and still. Luckily, we saw sixteen more deer while we waited.
Around 6:15, it was almost dark and I had seen the other nearby hunters leave in their truck. I texted my friend to ask what the rule on shooting another doe is, as I could still see four. I knew it was legal, just didn’t know about their club rules. He texted back:
“You can’t still see can you?”
I did, and we headed out to retrieve our (now two) deer. Getting out of the shooting house was a little tougher than climbing in. Sarah Kate was fine going up, but was afraid to come down. With some coaxing, encouragement, and me putting my hand on the back of her heels to make sure she hit the ladder rungs, she made it down. As we walked out, she tripped and fell twice, but she didn’t care, because we were going to see our deer. We made it to a certain spot, I left her with the flashlight, and I carried Nathan in total darkness to go get the truck. When we got back, we went to the deer and took pictures.
She was proud.
The kids both fell asleep in the camp house while we cleaned the deer. About 10:15, I loaded my sleepy kiddos up and we headed home. Not five miles down the road, Nathan started coughing real bad and it sounded bad enough that I turned the dome light on. He had thrown up. Nice. I exhausted my supply of fast food napkins in the glove compartment getting him cleaned up. About twenty minutes later, we repeated this episode, except we had not passed a Wendy’s or McDonald’s in the meantime and I had no more napkins. Daddy of the Year Award forfeited, I grabbed a disposable diaper, turned it inside out, and cleaned him up with that as best I could.
The rest of the trip was quiet, until we were about 1/4 mile from the house. He started coughing again, and this time sounded worse than the previous times. Turning on the light and looking back, I realized that it was worse. He had thrown up on the door, the back of the seat, the floor, his carseat, the seat next to him and everything in between. It was so bad that I had to give him a bath at midnight in order to clean him up enough to put him to sleep. At 12:21 am, both kids were in bed and I was finally able to unwind and retire to bed myself.
But that is what you do…. kids first, you second. My daughter is happy with her first deer, my son is happy (and now clean), and my record is still intact.