I have to admit that I have not found time to hunt as much this fall as I would like. I had a serious illness in October that put me in the hospital for several weeks and I have just not gone as much as I normally do. My grandaughter, who has become my favorite hunting partner is not too happy about it so I have got to “fix” that with a hunting trip soon!
Like her, there are many kids that would love a hunting trip, or two, as a Christmas present! As a youngster, My older brother, two first cousins and me could always count on my dad taking us down to Sumter or Marengo county for hunting trips over the two weeks of Christmas holidays when we were out of school. Those hunts were the stuff of magic! And the gray, cold days we have had lately reminds me of those days we spent in the woods enjoying each other’s company, watching the deer from our stands and getting to shoot a nice buck every now and then.
Does were not legal in the late sixties and early seventiesso we had to be sure of the bucks’s legal status before squeezing the trigger. We all hunted with shotguns and had no scopes, so we could not get that confirmation of “horns” too easy sometimes and we had to pass on the shot in the late afternoons and early mornings so we did not break the law. Our joke amongst our selves, (we never let daddy hear it) was that we were not too worried about a game warden, it was daddy who would be the problem if we “messed up” and took an illegal deer.
He was good friends with a couple of the local wardens and he was a strictly lawful hunter for deer and turkey. On a deer hunt down in Greene county one winter, just before Christmas, my brother shot a hen turkey he flushed out in a flock in a “mix up” thinking he was shooting a gobbler. Even though he was in college, daddy gave him a pretty good ”verbal” lashing about how he was a poor hunter and if he “did not know what he was doing he should just stay home”. He told my brother he was setting a poor example of sportsmanship for us kids and he was too old to be making such a poor decision. Daddy threathened to take his gun away for the rest of the year but, he calmed down after we got back home and mom told him she was happy to have the turkey to prepare in a pan of dressing for Christmas.
I remember mom just bragging over and over about how happy she was to have the hen for dressing as she washed it in the kitchen sink and later as she de-boned it to use in the dressing. She knew how to make daddy forget his anger and was a master at smoothing things over for us kids. Wow! I miss my mom every year during the holidays even more than the rest of the year! During those Christmas vacation holiday hunts we made some great hunting memories! Duck hunting down on the Tombigbee river, Camping at the Demopolis WMA and deer hunting over in east Mississippi with family friends on some huge soybean fields and our favorite hunt, using dogs to drive deer around in the swamps along the black warrior river.
Dad took several days of his vacation each witer and gave us kids what we wanted for Christmas! His time and time spent in the winter woods! Christmas memories were the best gifts we ever got and were some of the few things he could afford! Yes, I grew up rich!
Take a kid on a few hunts for Christmas presents or just to make some good memories and you might just start them on a life time past time in our great Central Alabama Outdoors!