My son Dave has hunted with me since he was a little kid. I used to take his sisters and him with me on antelope trips. The girls outgrew their interest in those outings, but Dave continued to tag along until he turned 12 and could hunt himself.
His early hunts were for pheasant with a single-shot .410, which was replaced with a .20 gauge barrel the next year. A few years later, he received a .20 gauge pump shotgun with choke tubes for Christmas. That's the gun he still shoots.
We hunted pheasant together today. This is the first season he hasn't been eligible for Wyoming's youth hunts because he turned 18. But it's also the first season we can hunt together, rather than me just guiding him and handling the dog on the youth hunts.
Today wasn't a typical hunt with Dave, who is usually a deadeye shooter. He got the first bird that went up and by the time we broke for lunch, he had two pheasant in his game pouch. But then a streak of poor shooting and missed shots ensued. He was getting frustrated, but I tried to let him know that these streaks hit everybody.
At the last spot we parked, we heard a rooster cackle. I was eating a sandwich, so Dave and Xena took off in the direction of the cackler. They pushed him into some cattails where he soon launched himself. Dave knocked him down and Xena made a good retrieve of the wounded bird. It was a great ending to a nice November day. The only blemish on the outing was the rattlesnake I nearly stepped on.
I like hunting with Dave. My dad took me a few times when I was a teen, but I don't remember ever having any success.
But I still hunt with my father's Remington 1100. I also hunt with my grandfather's Winchester Model 12 and Browning semiautomatic. I like to think that someday these guns will be taken afield by Dave and his son.