Second Letter to Benjamin
Do you remember that I had to wake you up on Sunday morning when Mr. Big came in, during this year’s youth season; a couple minutes later you shot your first whitetail buck – a mainframe ten pointer with a couple of kickers – pretty nice buck! And like last year, your aunt Sara coached you through the gutting process – while your brothers, sister, cousins and the adults all watched. From your grandpa’s perspective; for a twelve-year-old, it probably doesn’t get much better than that!
Hope you won’t soon forget all the conversation we had about firearms safety; we talked about being safe with your rifle when putting it in and getting it out of the truck, when carrying it, when climbing in and out of the deer stand and when loading and unloading. Keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction and keeping your finger off the trigger are always the first two rules of firearms safety. All the other rules are important; but there’s a reason the first two are the first two.
You’ve been driving our John Deere Gator for a few years now, and we had a great time after the hunt on Saturday morning just tooling
around on a nearby grain farm – from which the beans had just been cut. Seems like I was always saying “slow down.” Of course, back at the cabin, all the other kids wanted you to give them a ride – and you did.
For your grandpa, one of the highlights of the short weekend was when we drove through the farm gate late Saturday morning – coming back from the deer stand. As the pickup came to a stop, you looked over at me as if to question why were we stopping, just inside the gate. You were quite surprised, when I asked “do you want to drive?” Sitting up straight, you pointed down at the seat and said “this?” (the pickup). “Yes!” “Yes!” We swapped places and for the first time in your life, you were driving an automobile. It’s a full mile of farm road back to the cabin and you drove it both ways the rest of the weekend. Wow!
Now you are a real deer hunter; not yet ready to hunt by yourself, but nothing to prove about your ability to be patient and “aim straight.” Looking forward to sharing deer camp with you again next year.