It Has Been a Help to Me All of My Life

I grew up in Texas on the Gulf Coast, and was one of four sons.  My father was an avid hunter, and was keen to pass on this knowledge and skill to his sons.  As the youngest, I was taken afield with not only my father's guidance, but that of my three brothers, as well.  They each brought their own perspective to it, and I think I got the best of all four of us.  As I grew into adulthood, I lost interest in killing the game, and was more interested in just watching it. 

My father was very supportive of this, and I will always be grateful for that.  In his declining years, I would go hunting with him, acting, more or less, as his aide.  I hauled the heavy things, waited and watched quietly, and on the rare occasion when we did encounter game, would take care of the animal, dressing, skinning and quartering it, loading the meat into ice chests and hauling it all back to the truck.

The last kill my father made, back in 1998, was the last animal I dressed and processed.  After my father passed away, going to watch any form of wildlife is made special by the knowledge that my father understood my enthusiasm for watching.  So often, I can hear his, and my brother's words, as they taught me the habits of the deer, pigs, turkey, dove, quail, snipe, squirrels, ducks, and geese.  I can move into a position quietly and set myself up to be camouflaged from sight, but able to see all around.  I know how to mask my scent, and how to scout for location based on signs of wildlife movement.  To be able to identify spoor, tracks, rubs, and bedding locations allows me to even have a good idea of what I might see.  But, there are always surprises, and no matter how long I do this, I will never know it all, and I will always be surprised to find the exceptions to the rules.

I have so many stories, and I love to share them.  Perhaps when my current blog thread has run its course, I will begin telling the animal tales I have accumulated over the years.  But, for now, I love watching wildlife because it makes me think, reinforces life's lessons, and connects me for the rest of my life to my father.
atmore atmore
46-50, M
1 Response Dec 3, 2006

Life stories can be so interesting ....