A Pup in the Garden of Eden

Our PH watches as my son inspects the results of his morning’s hunt, a record book black wildebeest bull.

I set my son loose on the plains, plateaus, and hills of Namibia. I wanted to see what he would do.

As long as I can remember he has been going afield with me. Over the years our relationship has reminded me of the one between other predators and their young. At first, they are nurtured in the den; the food is supplied and the young are fed directly. As the pups get older living but wounded food is brought in to be eaten.

At this stage, the young play with their food for a time until instruction and instinct teach them to kill it for themselves. For the past five or six years, this is the stage my son has been at. He has been led by me to his food and closely instructed on how to deal with it in every aspect. I did the work, enforced gun safety rules, made sure packs were filled with water and rations and provided the equipment and expertise required to handle the environment and the kill itself.

But as time progresses the pups are no longer provided for and are expected to participate fully, under the watchful eye of the pack, in every aspect of the hunt.

In hindsight, there is no better place to let a young hunter fully stretch his legs and fill his boots than in a place like Namibia.

It is a land of contrast; vast, empty, dry, harsh and as unforgiving and punishing in its natural splendor as the highest peak in the Rockies or the furthest reaches of the Arctic. But at the same time, it is also a land of plenty.

It is a place teaming and crawling with life, life that is abundant beyond the imagination of the uninitiated. The land buzzes and bursts at the seams with game that has evolved not only to survive the harsh conditions that Namibia embodies but to thrive in them. Every corner, every fold, every plain or bush is home to beast and fowl.

It is empty but alive. It is a hunter’s paradise.

The Namibian bush. It sticks, pokes, tears and bites.

So I set him loose in the happy hunting grounds, with his rifle in hand, to see what he would do.

I gave him maximum latitude or at least as much as I could afford. At first, he was tentative. Before we arrived he was unsure what to expect. He thought, maybe he would hunt a waterbuck. And maybe a black wildebeest. “That would be good enough”, he said.

I smiled and shrugged. “Do what you want. It’s your hunt,” was all I’d reply. He’d think about it then raise an eyebrow and say very little. He was skeptical.

Of course having been before I knew that Safari is about opportunity and choices. I wondered what he would see as we all view these things differently. I pondered the question: how deeply do my genetics run through his body and questioned, for a moment, whether I was setting a pup who wanted to be fed or a predator willing and able to feed itself, free among the bushes and thorns of Africa?

In this day and age, many would see such a passage as archaic or barbaric but I believe the problem lies not within my perspective but within the age in which we live.

A disconnect between reality and our civilization has bred individuals who refuse to accept the natural world, their mortality and even their biological reality for what it is. The result, of course, is that it has created huge swaths of human beings who have a deep contempt for real life. There is a sickness in our world that stems from denying reality and avoiding the truth in life’s natural cycles. The irony being that in avoiding thinking about our mortality we end up living in death’s shadow; we become empty shells, neither truly alive or aware and always, perpetually living in denial and fear.

An acceptance of the natural world, its cycles and the mortality of all things should breed an understanding of death and a respect for life. It should free us from fear, thus liberating our minds and lead us to a sense of reciprocity towards others.

Indeed, I have never felt that it has been sufficient to have children that will simply ‘ponder pi’. Academics do not teach us how to live in this world nor are they sufficient in and of themselves to help us survive.

A man, at least in part, should look to nature to understand himself. Yes, he should have the inquisitiveness of a philosopher and the mind of a mathematician but he should also strive to have the body of an athlete and the heart of a predator. None of these things is sufficient on its own, character being like a chain, is only as strong as its weakest link.

My weak links, as I get older, are in ‘pondering pi’ and keeping my body fit. I believe this is why we have children, our jobs as parents being to sharpen them and hone them like fine steel so that they too may carry on. Lather, rinse, repeat as they say.

And so we teach them, then release them and look on.

He called out the lone bull to our PH on his own. He’d spotted it in the distance on top a grassy plateau. We’d missed it, of course. Old eyes, perhaps?

We followed it for some time as it danced back and forth across the plain in front of us, always just out of range, never still enough for him to pull the trigger.

I would have shot it several times over but this wasn’t my hunt, it was his. I had told him before we left that whatever he did on this trip he would own, one way or the other. Apparently, he had heard and understood.

After half an hour of waiting and closing the distance, the bull stood still, quartering towards us, just long enough for me to silently whisper ‘bang’. In my mind I was thinking, yelling, “Kill It!,” but I kept silent.

When his rifle finally responded 165 grains of lead entered through the bull’s front shoulder, breaking and shredding the lungs as pieces of copper and lead fragmented then spread upwards into its spinal column, dropping the old boy at or near ‘the speed of gravity’.

As the wildebeest hit the ground my son ejected the spent round from his chamber and rifled another in immediately, as I’d taught him, then stopped to assess the situation through his scope. When the bull didn’t move he flipped on the safety and walked slowly in on the black mass laying in front of him with Sean and me in tow. Our PH said he was deliberate. It was meant as a compliment, I think. He told me he was happy that my son did not rush and wound game. I nodded, kept my mouth shut and stood back for a moment.

When he was younger I would have told him I was proud of him and gave him a hug. This time I waited then stuck out my hand and shook his. I simply told him, “Nice shot.”

He smiled and knelt down to run his hands through the bulls black mane and over his hardened boss.

“I think I’ll put his skull on my bedroom wall. The tail is unique. I want it too.”

“OK,” I replied.

“You’ll like the tongue,” said our PH, “it has a texture like fine veal.”

“Sounds good,” replied my son, “what’s next,” he asked?

“Let’s see what happens,” I replied, “no need to rush or be greedy. We’re here for a while.”

A herd of springbok gathered nearby as we gutted the old bull and the sun began to heat the mid-morning air. It was time to hang the wildebeest and go for lunch, then maybe a nap.

I’d learned when I was younger that one never hurries such things. Not while you’re hunting…

In the Garden of Eden.

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-30-

International in Namibia

 

 A Pictorial Journey

This post will be updated regularly as we dig out pics and video from all the different devices we took with us.

 

After two days of continuous travel, we finally arrived in Namibia. We were greeted at the airport by the outfitter’s greeter/driver and shuttled to the drop off point about four hours from town. From there we were picked up in Uris and bounced off into the bush for another half hour drive to the hunting camp.

 

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The Two Mountains…

They seemed out of place or out of the blue. Like two pyramids standing alone amongst a series of plateaus, plains, and hills.

 

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Namibian sunsets. Not a bum in the bunch.

 

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My son and our PH inspect his first-morning black wildebeest bull. It was one shot and one kill at 162 yards using Hornady 165Gr SST’s from his Remington 700 Custom 30-06 Spr sporting a Nikon Prostaff 5 3.5-14×40 FFP BDC. Practice makes perfect.

 

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With about 300,00 acres to explore, we never saw it all. The neighbors were interesting, unique types though. This sable bull and his cows stood still long enough for me to get a quick photo.

 

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Winter in Namibia is funny. Mornings are cold and sometimes frosty (it snowed south of Windhoek while we were there). But by mid afternoon the sun will take the hide off of you. Everything either lays down in the shade in the afternoon or goes to water. We did both. We’d spend a couple hours after lunch sitting in the shade and watching a waterhole each day. The first day it was pretty quiet until this loan gemsbok bull wandered in for a drink. Was a little surprised to see him since the word was that the gemsbok were scarce, spooky and good at making themselves disappear. He measured 36″ or thereabouts and will probably make SCI. Better to be lucky than good I guess.

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Ever wonder how a giraffe goes for a drink? Well, now you know. I guess its easier than bending the front knees to get down.

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While we were hunting a rogue bull elephant charged and killed a hunter from Argentina in another area about sixty miles from where our camp was. Apparently, he stumbled across the bull without even knowing it was there. You’d think something as large as an elephant would be easy to spot. Then you see them and realize that they quickly fade away into heavy bush. You also realize you’d better be paying attention. Or else.

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I shot this cranker of a blue wildebeest on the third day (I think). He was by himself which is unusual because every other blue we saw was in a herd of some kind. We bumped into him while looking for a kudu bull. He was pretty old and on his way out. He was tough as nails too. I shot him twice, both solid killing shots, and both times he acted like he hadn’t even been hit. I guess when you’re that old and that big you get to be kinda stubborn. He makes SCI and my PH figures Roland Ward as well. He’s a big boy.

I recovered one of the Barnes TSX bullets from him. I’ll post it later.

bullet

Ok – so here it is. Got home this evening and dug this out of my still unpacked gear. This Barnes TTSX was my first shot on the blue wildebeest. It was a quartering shot that went in right behind the shoulder, took out the lungs, travelled the length of the body cavity and lodged in the rear hip on the opposite side. That’s almost 100% weight retention. Impressive performance. The second round exited in the opposite direction.

 

Bullet2

This bullet is the one I pulled out of my gemsbok bull pictured above. Again, another Barnes TTSX. Less weight retention because this quartering shot hit the shoulder bone first and travelled a similar path as the bullet above where it got lodged back in the rear hip area. Still, damn impressive performance as well. The gemsbok dropped in his tracks.

 

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This is a picture of the Uri we used to get around in. It needed pretty regular TLC while we were running about but given the condition of the “roads” it was pretty understandable. A lesser vehicle would have been completely and utterly destroyed.

 

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The Namibians use small dogs to track any game that doesn’t hit the ground instantly. They were a lot of fun and most of them were real hams. They were also damn good at their jobs and nice company in the Uri when moving about. This is Clara. She thought she was pretty special. We thought so too.

 

Waterbuck

 

Waterbcuk

We hunted Waterbuck for a number of days. It was the top animal on my son’s list. After a few blown stalks and a number of immature bulls that were passed up we were feeling no love. About the fourth morning we were on our way into the far reaches of the preserve when this guy literally just appeared out of nowhere standing perfectly broadside on a small hill at 120 yards. It was an easy shot with the sun at our backs and in his eyes. My son had plenty of time and teed up the shot then pulled the trigger. The bull dropped like a sack of potatoes and we all started getting pretty excited and high-fiving one another. When we got to where the bull went down he was nowhere to be seen. We were mystified. Cue the dogs. They got his scent and found him dead about eighty meters away through some thick and nasty stuff in a little clearing. It was a perfect double lung shot but he had enough juice in him to go a few yards before tipping over. Of course we couldn’t see him take off because he’d dropped behind the hill he was on.  The lad was one VERY happy camper when we finally found him. All’s well that ends well.

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We spent a few mornings traipsing around the mountains. They’re not as steep or as high as home but they are grassy, rocky and the loose, gravelly ground constantly feels like it is going to slip out from under you. Walking while not paying attention was hazardous to your health.

 

Springbok2

This was the springbok I took on the morning we were supposed to be recovering from travel (I’m posting it late because the only pics of it were on another device that we just unloaded). It technically wasn’t our first day of hunting but… our PH didn’t want me laying around. I was pretty jet lagged and apparently, the recipe to fixing that is to get your butt out of bed and go shoot something. This is a good ram. He’ll look great in the man cave. He was worth losing a mornings rest over.

 

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Reminded me of an Arbutus tree back home.

 

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Shortly after I snapped the picture above this photo one of the tracking dogs decided to wander off. It was a little frustrating at first but then, as we were putting around the back roads trying to find “Rocky” we bumped into this old warthog. It was a quick offhand shot but I hit him hard, broadside. He ran off like I hadn’t hit him at all but fortunately, our other tracking dog, Blackie found him quickly, piled up about a hundred years away from where I’d pulled the trigger. No second shot required.

We found “Rocky” shortly afterward.

 

wtrhle

We went back to this waterhole the next day (near where we had shot the warthog) for kudu but nothing came in so after sitting for a few hours we decided to head to another part of the property.

 

BlackImp

There was an area nearby, about a half hour four by four ride from the water hole we’d been at, that held a very large population of black faced impala. Once endangered, these native to Namibia and Angola antelope now thrive in huntable populations throughout the country. My son spent the afternoon trying to find a nice sized ram we had seen a few days earlier. Finally, nearing sunset, we spotted him with a group of about six other slightly smaller males. It was a game of patience and tick-tac-toe, waiting, then maneuvering for a shot where we wouldn’t hit another animal. His patience finally paid off and after an afternoon in the blazing heat (that nearly cooked me out), he finally got his Impala. Just in time to go for dinner…

 

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The core of the preserve is actually a rhino sanctuary. It is home to over 60 white and black rhinos. The plains game hunts that the preserve sells to people like us funds their rhino conservation efforts. We would get lucky enough to see them once in a while. One of them mocked charged our hunting companion’s Uri. Thankfully they were not in it at the time.

 

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This is a steenbok. It is one of the smallest antelope in Africa. My son spent three days hunting this thing. It drove us nuts. They are solitary, small, live in the tall grass and are very fast. You couldn’t see them until you were right on top of them so you had to be quick. I was getting close to being fed up and ready to pack it in. They busted us constantly and we had a hell of a time with them. This one paused in mid flight just long enough for the lad to get a shot. It was the smallest thing we shot by a stretch but my son says it is his most memorable hunt and trophy because he almost wore himself out trying to get it. He gets an A+ for determination.

 

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No matter where you are in the world, mother nature always has something spectacular to show you. Namibia was dry and alien by my standards. Everything was different; the rocks, the trees, the animals – all of it. But the land has the feeling of being very, very old in comparison to my back yard in the Northern Cascades. A part of me wished it could speak and tell me its story. We hunted this mountain cluster for Kudu almost every day for a week. The views were always worth the hike even without seeing the game we were looking for.

 

Uri

After crawling all over God’s green acre looking for a mature kudu bull I was resigned to going home without him. I’d failed to connect with one in 2008 when we we were in South Africa and I knew that even with abundant game there was no guarantee it would happen in Namibia either. Truth be told I was ok with it. We’d had such a good hunt and been surrounded by such wonderful people that I was happy to go home without him. On the last day of the hunt my son slept in, having connected with everything but his common impala. I went out on my own with our PH in one last attempt to find a bull.

Towards the end…

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When we started out last morning of the hunt my philosophy was simple: relax and enjoy Namibia. I wasn’t going to worry about getting my bull anymore. I just wanted to be in the moment and soak the environment in. Thirty minutes into our trek back into the mountains we bumped into a small group of bulls in a bit of bush/riverine area. The largest of the group was nice and wide if not terribly long but mature. I made the decision to try and take him. So we moved into position… about five times! He kept moving into thick brush and behind the other smaller bulls and we kept  maneuvering for a shot. After a while he started to figure out something wasn’t quite right and made a break for it. That was his last and fatal mistake; as he cleared the bush into an open spot I took him through the front shoulder, quartering at a quick walk/trot. He dropped in his tracks.

 

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It was a last day bull that was a combination of patience, persistence, luck and a PH that wouldn’t give up. And if you look carefully in the center of his face you will notice he has a third horn growing out of his forehead. I am told that this occurs with maybe one in thirty bulls and not to this extreme. This is an unusual animal.

My kudu curse is now broken.

 

Impala1

With my kudu down we spent the rest of the afternoon chasing common Impala for my son. It was supposed to be a 1,2,3 slam dunk. There were thousands of Impala around so it was a matter of finding a good quality ram and taking it out of the herd. We thought we’d be back to camp in an hour. Wrong!

It was like all the mature rams knew what we were up to. After hours of driving, stalking and glassing the sun started to go down. Each time we’d find a ram worth shooting the rest of the herd would bust us before we could get close enough for a shot. Finally, thirty minutes before last light we bumped into a bachelor group of three good quality rams. At that stage, it was a matter of waiting for a shot to open up as they were in the open and not moving towards the heavy bush. When it finally happened my son wrapped up our hunt with only half an hour of daylight left to spare.

 

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Scott & Rod on Namibia

More to follow…

 

 

 

The Mountain

Photo of a photo. The headwaters of the Canoe on the way up.

By Scott Carpenter, CGB Editor

I could hear the roar of the Canoe River and its tributaries as they made their descent hundreds of feet below me. I couldn’t see them from the logging road we were on but their flight was so steep and so rapid that it filled the valley with mist and noise as the various creeks and the river itself made the first leg of their inevitable journey south and west to the Pacific. The road and surrounding vegetation were damp as the mist from the creek filled the air, climbing upwards with the tips of giant spruce and pine towards the ridges that birthed the torrent below while simultaneously mingling with the sun and creating hues of yellow, blue and purple in the spaces between the trees and the sky. Standing on the road I rubbed the sleep from my eyes as the moisture slipped past my nostrils, filled my lungs and cooled my skin. Buzzard sat next to the truck and camper in a lawn chair glassing white dots on the upper ridges of the valley that surrounded it all.

“They’re on the south slope this morning feeding towards us. We’d better suit up and get going before they move off the mountain.”

Continue reading “The Mountain”

The Fraternity

Bowl Chrome

By Scott Carpenter, CGB Editor

Prologue:

I am a believer in the idea that the recipe for raising good kids is simple: be patient and give them your time. If you spend time with them, take an interest in who they are and what they like and include them in activities (both work and play) that are gateways to adulthood then most of the time you’ll end up with good kids. I’m especially proud of both of mine. They are both turning out to be very fine human beings.

In the years that I have lived in British Columbia, I have learned that hunting deer in the southwestern region of the province is simple. In the opening days of September, the deer are still in their summer range. This means they are up high. As the season wanes, the weather cools and the first snows hit they move to lower elevations.  I say this facetiously of course, as this is where the simplicity ends.

Early deer season in our part of the world is decidedly not simple. I am a child of the prairies and growing up in Saskatchewan, “deer hunting” meant pushing whitetails out of pockets of bush in the agricultural zones. It is an activity as much akin to wing shooting as anything else. The same activity pursued in my current local is dramatically different. Here, just getting to where the game lives is more akin to an “Iron Man” competition than it is to hunting elsewhere and the older I get the less that statement seems like hyperbole.

Over the years I have learned a few important things about hunting in the high country: everything is steeper, further and heavier. Small mistakes can compound themselves quickly. Too little water, the wrong clothing, a slip of the knife or the foot or grabbing the wrong branch can spell disaster. Simply being in the alpine is risky. Hunting deer and other game there is challenging. Successfully taking game there is life affirming. It is why I go back year after year whether I am successful or not.

And this is why – in his 12th year – I brought my son with me on one of my sojourns to the top of the world. It was my hope that he would appreciate not only the challenge of hunting such a place but also of simply being somewhere so unique and stunningly beautiful. He never connected with a deer that year but he proved to me he could carry his own gear, rifle and weight. He was willing and prepared to join the odd but proud fraternity of high country hunters. Moreover, he truly seemed to appreciate the place. And so it was that we planned a return for the fall of 2014.

Twelve months later on the opening morning of the youth deer season, myself, my son and a good friend of ours parked our SUV at the head of the same old horse trail we’d climbed the year before. The season takes place in early September in our neck of the woods, which means the deer are in their summer range. Where we live in the southwestern region of BC our day-to-day lives are lived at an elevation barely above sea level. Thus “high up” is defined as anything over about four to five thousand feet. In the “Cascade” and surrounding regions, this is the place where the trees shrink, the air thins and the forest gives way to alpine grasses, shrubs, and flowers.

As we ascended the mountain, just a few short weeks after my sons 13thbirthday, I wondered what the hunt would bring for him.  We had come with the intent of hunting for just the day. This meant an early morning and upwards of three to four hours of hiking and climbing to gain the elevation needed to simply begin looking for deer.  This would then leave us with about five to seven hours on the mountain before we would need to pack up in order to beat nightfall. Descending thousands of feet in the dark has never been my idea of fun, much less with an extra fifty to eighty pounds of venison on my back. As such the pace would be steady and deliberate. The boy would have to keep up if we were to have any chance at being successful.

We liked to hunt a particular bowl we knew held game so over the course of the morning we headed for the back end of the south side, circled around, over the top and parked ourselves at the upper western edge of the north-facing slope. We had a great view of the south-facing slope across from us so we pulled off our packs and started to glass. My son had kept pace well and the adults were grateful for the pause.

Nearing the top our bowl – only a few hundred more yards and a few more feet in elevation to go before my nap…

Shortly afterward, I decided to take a nap. With a cool, dry breeze in the air and the warm sun on my face who could blame me? The soft alpine grass made a wonderful make shift bed and I drifted slowly off to sleep. It would turn out to be one of the shortest naps I’d ever taken…

“Dad – there’s two deer coming over the top of the opposite ridge,” whispered my boy just as I was losing consciousness.

I popped open a single eye.

“Bullocks,” I said. “I don’t see anything.” I closed my eye in an attempt to go back to sleep.

“He’s right,” my friend interrupted, “I think one is a buck.”

I opened my eye again and felt around for my binoculars lying in the grass next to me. I held them up to my open eye like a monocular and began scanning the opposite side of the bowl. I was still sprawled out on the grass in the same position I’d drifted off in when I saw both deer descending the opposite slope. “Hmmph,” I said, “Yep. The lead one is a buck.”

My son was ready to roll. I wasn’t. I’d just started my nap and was still groggy. “They’re too far away,” I said.

I put down my binos and opened my other eye. My hunting partner already had his laser rangefinder out. As I looked for mine the buck and his doe bedded down across the bowl from us near a small patch of trees.

“How far,” I asked my buddy?

“A little over 400 yards,” he replied quietly.

“Son, that’s too far for you to shoot.”

I pulled my range finder off my belt and confirmed a distance of 408 yards, “You’re going to have to make a stalk if you want to try and take this thing.”

“Ok dad,” he responded coolly.

He grabbed his rifle and I grabbed my binos and shooting sticks. We made a plan to get closer. We were going to have to use a few small boulders and a couple of shrubs for cover as there was little between the buck, the doe and us.

Waddling off we began our descent into the bowl as we were just slightly above and across from the two deer. We duck walked from our position to a shrub, from the shrub to a boulder and finally to another small shrub. Pretty soon we ran out of shrubs and boulders.

We stopped. I put the range finder on the tree next to the buck and got a solid reading of 202 yards. We were out of options and cover. There was nothing between us and the buck but grass and a few alpine flowers. What’s more, the buck had turned in his bed and was now looking straight at us. The doe’s ears were on red alert. It was the end of the stalk.

“Ok son,” I said quietly, “they are basically straight across from us at a little over two hundred yards. Your rifle is sighted in for 100 yards so I want you to put the cross hairs right on the center of his chest just a few inches above the bottom of his neck. You should hit the vitals square on. Remember to breath easy, relax and squeeze on the exhale.”

I put out the shooting sticks and he crept up into a kneeling position behind them. He loaded a round into the ’06 and exhaled.

I prayed for a clean kill.

For a moment worlds collided and time stood still. At the sound of the rifle I was 12 years old again, dressed in hunter orange with my first whitetail deer in my cross hairs. I was lost between then and now, there and here and as the sound of the shot dissipated and time and space reasserted itself I was overcome with relief.

My prayer was answered. The fork horn buck never moved from his bed.

“Great shot son,”  I heard my father’s voice in mine as I put my hand on my son’s shoulder.

Without prompting he ejected the spent casing from the chamber of his rifle. “You won’t need another round. Well done,”  I said and stood up from the long grass we were kneeling in.

My boy was trembling with adrenaline. We took a moment to breath then we looked at each other and high fived. The moment from the sound of the shot blossomed slowly from one of deliberation to celebration. We shouted and high fived again and I put my arm around him.

As we approached the deer I looked for signs of life in the young buck then, confirming it was dead, let my son kneel down next to his first kill. He ran his hands through its coarse red and brown hair and over the soft velvet of its antlers. He was speechless. So was I.

You can’t see it but were both grinning from ear to ear.

Taken at around 6000 feet elevation my 13-year-old son stood for a moment like he was a giant amongst men. He helped me gut and butcher the deer then my partner and I loaded up our packs with the meat for the long hike out. My son carried our gear and his trophy rack. Two points or twelve – it mattered not. He cut the rack from the buck’s skull himself and strapped it to his pack. Trophies – like beauty – are in the eye of the beholder. Today my son had earned his place in the rare fraternity of high country hunters and he knew it. He never complained about the work or the hike out. He took it all like a man and carried out his two-point as though it were a Boone and Crockett buck.

Leaving the bowl and heading back down the mountain towards the vehicle.

Three to four hours later – our bodies tired and battered from the hike down and out – we finally arrived back at the Jeep. We loaded our gear and headed the rest of the way back down the mountain in comfort. It was a quiet ride. Exhaustion seems to breed introspection amongst hunters and as we came back into cell range I handed the phone to my son.

“Call your mother,” I said, “and tell her we’ll be home after dark.” They were the first words we’d spoken since we loaded the SUV.

While my boy was chatting with his mom my partner asked me how I was.

“Sore and tired,” I replied, “how about you?”

“Sore and tired” he responded.

“Do it again next year,” I asked?

“I’m there,” was his response as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep.

-30-

Preseason

ZackRa

My son warming up for our African hunt at the range.

By Scott Carpenter – CGB Editor

Preseason. That term means different things to different people depending on where you live and the type of hunting you do.

For my household, it means two things: shoot and hike. Or better yet, shoot, climb, hike and run. That’s four things mind you but who’s counting?

Shooting is the easy part (and the most fun). The rest is less so. Let’s have a look at both aspects. Continue reading “Preseason”