Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A hunter is born

Karen went hunting with me for the first time the first year we were married. I shot three squirrels on that particular stalk through the Hoosier National Forest. Karen had a good time on the trip and enjoyed being with me doing something I love, but as I recall, she wasn't much interested in learning to do it herself. In more recent years, we have talked about getting her out in the woods "when the kids are older." Well that day has arrived. Our kids are now old enough to be able to stay home by themselves for a few hours without a babysitter while the dear wife and I slip out for coffee, or a walk, or a hunting trip nearby. Last fall it got serious. Karen bought a deer tag and sat in a treestand. The deer didn't cooperate for either of us during gun season, but she conquered the most difficult challenge of it, which is getting in the stand, 20 feet up, and sitting there with enough focus to be able to shoot if a deer appears in range. We drew turkey tags this past spring but despite early excitement on the one morning we got to go, no toms came close.

Squirrel season opened on August 1st and Karen asked if we go for the opener. I took time off work and away we went. The woods near home where I like to go was still, buggy, and sweaty, but the result was this:

Those are the faces of happy hunters, smiling despite a collection of mosquito bites on our hands and heads that made us later look like Looney Tunes characters after they get hit by a mallet (despite generous application of bug spray beforehand!). She is smiling with accomplishment and joy. I am smiling because a dream I have held close since I was first married is now fulfilled. My bride has become a huntress!