Youngsters Hunting...

H. DeLong

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“Can you see the one on the far left?” I whispered.
“Yeah,” Tyler answered. “I think I can get through the branches. I’m on her front shoulder. Here goes.”
It is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I can verify that statement with my son, Tyler's, 2006 NY muzzle loader season.
But to digress momentarily; Those of you who have read my articles know that I espouse hunting and fishing as much as possible and as cheaply as possible. It is a practice I have followed for 45 years. That is not to say that if you can afford high-dollar equipment you should not use it. On the contrary, I always say use the best equipment you can afford.

One of the problems sportsmen face is from the outdoor writers and TV hosts that make one feel that if his scope is not a big name German scope and his rifle is not a custom job, he should not be in the woods. There is a show called Whitetail Challenge on the newly re-named Versus. Right in the show's lead-in are the word's “Best Equipment.”
Okay, so they have a scope that costs more than my 4X4…whoopee. How many viewers can afford that scope? I write for the 95% of hunters who hunt, but have a budget. It is an art form to make do with less. I actually have had friends tell me it is habit forming to actually try to get more and pay less. I am indoctrinating my oldest son in this noble pastime.
Tyler has been in the Army since February 2002. The events of 9-11-2001 compelled him to make a stand for everything we hold dear. I am very proud of Tyler for what he had to overcome to get into the Army in the first place, namely losing 110 lbs! Tyler has been my hunting and fishing buddy since he was old enough to toddle along behind me. The time we spent together was very important, as it was only every other weekend. As he grew, Tyler paid close attention to all the lessons on nature, hunting and fishing that came his way. As it turned out, my lessons on being frugal were also headed.
An E-4 does not make a lot of money, so he has to make things stretch. Last fall (2005), his leave fell in time for the NY muzzle loader season. He needed a black powder rifle and asked my suggestion. I asked him if he had been on line yet. Tyler wasn't expecting that reply, I guess. I told him about the two on-line auctions I constantly peruse.
About a week later he told me he had won an in-line 50 cal. And it would arrive at my house about a week after he would. I asked him how much it cost to win…$68.00 including shipping! Gotta like that boy. It was a nearly new CVA with a black composite stock, according to the picture. It was pristine, until the UPS driver got through with it. Tyler flew down the two flights of stairs to answer the doorbell. In that brief time, the driver had leaned the box up against the wall, beside our front door, and had jumped back in his truck and left. Here was a box marked “Rifle” left unattended on a sidewalk in a major NY city! I told Tyler to check for damages, which turned out to be quite noticeable.
We took digital pictures of the box before we opened it and as we opened it. The rifle's bolt had been sticking through the shipping carton, the front site was crushed and as for the indestructible stock…yep, it isn't. There was chunk missing of the fore end. We called the shipper, who was very nice. He filed a claim, UPS paid it and he returned all of Tyler's $68.00. So now it was free but a tad ugly.
This year we had to wait to find out if Tyler would get home in time to hunt. He was due back in Ft. Polk on the 10th of Dec, from his second combat tour in Afghanistan. As
it turned out, Tyler flew into Albany with a day and a half left of the 2006 muzzle loader season. That was time enough for some rest, getting his license and getting his hunting stuff out. I had a surprise for him, though. I had won a BSA Catseye 3.5-10X44 scope for $34.00 on E-bay. It looked good on that CVA, was crystal clear and was all sighted in.
Tyler was using 150 grains of Triple Seven pellets and a 250 grain TC Shockwave bullet. Boy is this bullet under-named!
We had one day to find a deer for Tyler. In NY either buck or doe are permitted. A doe would do fine, as I raised Tyler to be a meat hunter first and trophy hunter second. We went to an area of Brunswick that usually had deer to be found. But the unusually warm weather had the deer acting like it was August instead of December. We found lots of tracks but the deer were laid up tight somewhere. This would not normally be a concern, except this was the last day of the season and Tyler's only chance.
After a break for lunch, we went up to Potter Hill in Hoosick. I have always jumped deer on the hill I sent Tyler to. About 4:00, Tyler was headed down from the hill to Bruce (my 4X4, but that is another story). Once again, he saw plenty of tracks but no deer. As he go ready to get into the vehicle, Tyler noticed that his “possibles” bag had detached from his belt. With the day winding down, he elected to get the bag later and keep hunting. There was about an hour of shooting time left, as we headed back for Brunswick. Now, if he located a deer, Tyler had only one shot…the one in the rifle. His extra rounds were in the missing bag. One shot, less than an hour left, and haven't seen a deer. My Soldier was feeling a little disheartened.
I mentioned the way God works…we headed around the back side of a cut corn field and peered over the little rise in front of us. There were three deer about 200 yards out and headed for the other side of the hill. We quietly came back down our side of the hill and hurried to try and get around the other side before the deer could get to the road.
The deer paused in the middle of the corn field, for some unknown reason, giving us the time we needed to get into position. Tyler and I watched them moving toward us. There was a little brush in front of us, but we could see them plainly. The deer stopped broadside to us about 95-100 yards away. When Tyler said he was on the big doe, I told him to fire. When the smoke cleared I could see the deer running over the hill. “There she goes,” I said.
“What…she went right down where she stood!” he fired back.
It seemed Tyler and I were looking at two different deer. We went out to check the doe out, Tyler's first kill with a muzzle loader. As we got closer, it was
obvious that this deer was above normal size. She was long and wide. The other thing we noticed is that Tyler must have ticked a branch. The round had hit the
doe just below the backbone and through the last couple of floating ribs. As for the Shockwave, man is it ever. There was one entrance hole and THREE exit holes! It had blown bone chunks and fragments everywhere, but she sure did go down. The picture may not do her justice, but Tyler is 215 lbs. According to the whitetail size conversion chart, the doe's 43 inch chest put her well over 220 lbs. live weight and a field dressed weight of 180 or better. I can attest she
was all of that. It was all the two of us could do to throw the doe onto Bruce. And…she fell to a “free” muzzle loader and a $35.00 scope. My kind of hunt!

The preceding is a column I wrote a couple years ago. With hunting seasons approaching, I have been thinking about Tyler and Baghdad, where he is currently deployed on his third combat tour in four years. He will not be able to be here for any of the deer seasons this year. He has been my hunting and fishing buddy since he as a tyke.

One Shot

“Can you see the one on the far left?” I whispered.
“Yeah,” Tyler answered. “I think I can get through the branches. I’m on her front shoulder. Here goes.”
It is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I can verify that statement with my son, Tyler's, 2006 NY muzzle loader season.
But to digress momentarily; Those of you who have read my articles know that I espouse hunting and fishing as much as possible and as cheaply as possible. It is a practice I have followed for 45 years. That is not to say that if you can afford high-dollar equipment you should not use it. On the contrary, I always say use the best equipment you can afford.
One of the problems sportsmen face is from the outdoor writers and TV hosts that make one feel that if his scope is not a big name German scope and his rifle is not a custom job, he should not be in the woods. There is a show called Whitetail Challenge on the newly re-named Versus. Right in the show's lead-in are the word's “Best Equipment.”
Okay, so they have a scope that costs more than my 4X4…whoopee. How many viewers can afford that scope? I write for the 95% of hunters who hunt, but have a budget. It is an art form to make do with less. I actually have had friends tell me it is habit forming to actually try to get more and pay less. I am indoctrinating my oldest son in this noble pastime.
Tyler has been in the Army since February 2002. The events of 9-11-2001 compelled him to make a stand for everything we hold dear. I am very proud of Tyler for what he had to overcome to get into the Army in the first place, namely losing 110 lbs! Tyler has been my hunting and fishing buddy since he was old enough to toddle along behind me. The time we spent together was very important, as it was only every other weekend. As he grew, Tyler paid close attention to all the lessons on nature, hunting and fishing that came his way. As it turned out, my lessons on being frugal were also headed.
An E-4 does not make a lot of money, so he has to make things stretch. Last fall (2005), his leave fell in time for the NY muzzle loader season. He needed a black powder rifle and asked my suggestion. I asked him if he had been on line yet. Tyler wasn't expecting that reply, I guess. I told him about the two on-line auctions I constantly peruse.
About a week later he told me he had won an in-line 50 cal. And it would arrive at my house about a week after he would. I asked him how much it cost to win…$68.00 including shipping! Gotta like that boy. It was a nearly new CVA with a black composite stock, according to the picture. It was pristine, until the UPS driver got through with it. Tyler flew down the two flights of stairs to answer the doorbell. In that brief time, the driver had leaned the box up against the wall, beside our front door, and had jumped back in his truck and left. Here was a box marked “Rifle” left unattended on a sidewalk in a major NY city! I told Tyler to check for damages, which turned out to be quite noticeable.
We took digital pictures of the box before we opened it and as we opened it. The rifle's bolt had been sticking through the shipping carton, the front site was crushed and as for the indestructible stock…yep, it isn't. There was chunk missing of the fore end. We called the shipper, who was very nice. He filed a claim, UPS paid it and he returned all of Tyler's $68.00. So now it was free but a tad ugly.
This year we had to wait to find out if Tyler would get home in time to hunt. He was due back in Ft. Polk on the 10th of Dec, from his second combat tour in Afghanistan. As
it turned out, Tyler flew into Albany with a day and a half left of the 2006 muzzle loader season. That was time enough for some rest, getting his license and getting his hunting stuff out. I had a surprise for him, though. I had won a BSA Catseye 3.5-10X44 scope for $34.00 on E-bay. It looked good on that CVA, was crystal clear and was all sighted in.
Tyler was using 150 grains of Triple Seven pellets and a 250 grain TC Shockwave bullet. Boy is this bullet under-named!
We had one day to find a deer for Tyler. In NY either buck or doe are permitted. A doe would do fine, as I raised Tyler to be a meat hunter first and trophy hunter second. We went to an area of Brunswick that usually had deer to be found. But the unusually warm weather had the deer acting like it was August instead of December. We found lots of tracks but the deer were laid up tight somewhere. This would not normally be a concern, except this was the last day of the season and Tyler's only chance.
After a break for lunch, we went up to Potter Hill in Hoosick. I have always jumped deer on the hill I sent Tyler to. About 4:00, Tyler was headed down from the hill to Bruce (my 4X4, but that is another story). Once again, he saw plenty of tracks but no deer. As he go ready to get into the vehicle, Tyler noticed that his “possibles” bag had detached from his belt. With the day winding down, he elected to get the bag later and keep hunting. There was about an hour of shooting time left, as we headed back for Brunswick. Now, if he located a deer, Tyler had only one shot…the one in the rifle. His extra rounds were in the missing bag. One shot, less than an hour left, and haven't seen a deer. My Soldier was feeling a little disheartened.
I mentioned the way God works…we headed around the back side of a cut corn field and peered over the little rise in front of us. There were three deer about 200 yards out and headed for the other side of the hill. We quietly came back down our side of the hill and hurried to try and get around the other side before the deer could get to the road.
The deer paused in the middle of the corn field, for some unknown reason, giving us the time we needed to get into position. Tyler and I watched them moving toward us. There was a little brush in front of us, but we could see them plainly. The deer stopped broadside to us about 95-100 yards away. When Tyler said he was on the big doe, I told him to fire. When the smoke cleared I could see the deer running over the hill. “There she goes,” I said.
“What…she went right down where she stood!” he fired back.
It seemed Tyler and I were looking at two different deer. We went out to check the doe out, Tyler's first kill with a muzzle loader. As we got closer, it was
obvious that this deer was above normal size. She was long and wide. The other thing we noticed is that Tyler must have ticked a branch. The round had hit the
doe just below the backbone and through the last couple of floating ribs. As for the Shockwave, man is it ever. There was one entrance hole and THREE exit holes! It had blown bone chunks and fragments everywhere, but she sure did go down. The picture may not do her justice, but Tyler is 215 lbs. According to the whitetail size conversion chart, the doe's 43 inch chest put her well over 220 lbs. live weight and a field dressed weight of 180 or better. I can attest she
was all of that. It was all the two of us could do to throw the doe onto Bruce. And…she fell to a “free” muzzle loader and a $35.00 scope. My kind of hunt!

The preceding is a column I wrote a couple years ago. With hunting seasons approaching, I have been thinking about Tyler and Baghdad, where he is currently deployed on his third combat tour in four years. He will not be able to be here for any of the deer seasons this year. He has been my hunting and fishing buddy since he as a tyke.

Posted by H. DeLong under Field Journals on August 24, 08 08:13 AM | Permalink

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