Sometimes a hunter doesn’t have to actually pull the trigger for the day to turn out perfectly.
That’s the message that J.D. Burke and his son, 10-year-old Jack, learned recently, after an opening day hunt.
“On this day we sat in a blind for a few hours in the morning,” Burke explained in an email. “After leaving the blind we decided to walk an area near a spruce thicket. Our thought was that we might see some deer sneaking into the thicket to bed down.”
As they walked along the thicket, Burke saw a large antler that a deer had shed.
“I pointed it out to Jack, who ran over and picked it up,” Burke said. “We were excited to say the least. The shed was four points with very little of it that had been chewed on by rodents.”
Burke pulled out his phone and snapped a photo, then sent his son on another kind of hunt.
“I explained to Jack that I have heard big bucks like this one sometimes lose the other shed within minutes of each other,” Burke wrote. I told him if we looked around, we might find the matching shed.”
No sooner had Burke taken off his backpack to stow the first shed that he heard his son shout.
Jack had found the other antler.
“The other side had four points as well, and Jack found it within 15 yards of the first one,” Burke wrote.
At that point, the day was a success, whether they ended up seeing any deer or not.
“I know Jack didn’t shoot a deer [that day], but I don’t think he could have been more excited if he had,” Burke wrote. “I’ve always told both my boys that hunting isn’t about killing, it’s about being in the woods, enjoying nature and the adventure you have. This was a great day, one I will not soon forget.”
Follow John on Twitter: @JohnHolyoke