Confessions of a Hunter – He’s not the only one learning

By Andy Anderson 

He just turned seven and loves to hang out with me. My son, Clayton “Clay,” jumps at the chance to accompany me as I go about my day. Checking pig traps, food plots, fixing or building this or that, it makes no difference to him. He always asks to bring his BB gun (of course he does) and I’ve got my rifle with me so why shouldn’t he have his?

I have always tried to incorporate anything I am doing as an opportunity to teach him something or to practice safety. I’ve been doing that since the first day he helped me fill feeders. When he was about five or six, he and I stalked up on some turkey. We were not hunting so I didn’t have a weapon. I just wanted to show him something, do something with him. We were low crawling through a grass field, Clay right on my heels. I could hear him breathing hard as we got closer. When we got within 20 yards, I motioned him up beside me. We sat motionless for what seemed like an hour, watching the turkey move their way through the field eating bugs and small seeds and listening to them talk to each other. I looked over at him occasionally.

His bright blue eyes were fixed on the turkey, watching their every move, ducking slowly when he believed one looked our way. His attention and focus was impressive. Like a bird dog on point, he was engrossed in the moment and so was I.

He is seven now and out of school, so of course he is with me when he is not swimming or playing with his friends. Clay, with his BB gun in hand, loads up with me to go check traps and feeders one day. Turkey season is over, but the birds are still active. We were driving alongside a wheat field headed to the next feeder when Clay holler’s out, “Stop the truck! Turkey!” Sure enough, about 150 yards out in the field near a lone oak tree a few jakes were loafing in the shade. Clay asked if he can shoot one. This field is bare, flat and wide open. Knowing these turkey will see him before he steps foot in the field, I say, “Sure! Go get’em, buddy.”

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