How Can a 5 Year Old Son or Daughter Help in Your Hunt?

 Involving your young son or daughter in the sport of hunting is something special to pass down.
If you are lucky, they too will cherish that time in their life and repeat this pastime for generations to come. My 5 year old son is no exception.
While crossbow hunting this year, my son had wanted to go out with me to hunt deer.
Since I normally hunt from a tree stand that I have to climb a tree with, it made it impossible for this type of hunting to take my 5 year old. Plus since the wife put in an order for up to 3 deer this year, I had to be as productive as possible. Even so, my son got involved in my hunt in a “Big” way.
This last October, I sat in my favorite tree overlooking a deer trail I have hunted for many years.

 I had my sent trail carefully laid out, and waited silently until I would do some buck grunts and a little antler rattling. At about 5:30 PM, I had a spike buck walk below my stand directly to my sent trail.
I got out my laser range finder and took a reading on the buck and it measured 10 yards. Boy, he was close.
I then swung my crossbow up to my shoulder, and aimed via the calibrated scope for various ranges. I fired my bolt and it hit its mark. These new bolts I got with the lighted nocks once fired made my hit interesting to say the least. Well, the buck bolted and ran down the trail then veered to the left and from what I could tell, and went down. He looked to have gone down about 100 yard away.
I then looked down to where I just shot the buck and saw my lighted bolt. Yea, it went right through the deer and was stuck in the ground.
Once I got down from my tree stand, I looked at the lit bolt an It had blood and deer hair on it. I knew I had made a fatal hit. I also knew I had about 30 minutes of light for sunset was at 6 PM, so I had to locate the deer ASAP. I looked at the impact area where the bolt lay, and could find no blood.
This was not good for the area I hunt is thick in some patches and a blood trail is very important no matter how close I think the deer may lie. I went down where I thought the deer went and still there was no blood. After looking for a while, the sun had already set and I could not find the buck I shot.
I solicited my local friend Cindi Thomas, of the Flat Broke Horse Farm, for she was a very good tracker. Cindi looked with me in the woods with her young son and she too could find no blood.
We thought we got a whiff of the musk glands of the buck, but could not locate the deer. I used my blue light which helps illuminate blood, but no blood could be found. Well, I thanked Cindi for her effort, and said I would come back in the morning and try again. Given the cold temperature at night, the deer would be like in a meat locker, and would be fine. I got up early the next day so I could find my deer and get it to the butcher.
In addition to myself looking for the deer, my wife and 5 year old son joined the venture and made it a family outing. I ran the image of the deer running in my mind after the hit and thought it may have gotten back up and went down the trail more then I had thought. I looked far and wide and could find no signs of my deer.
My wife and son were looking too with no success. I then went to where I knew I hit the deer and looked carefully on the ground. I found one speck of blood no bigger than the tip on a ball point pen.
At least it was something. I looked a few more feet down the trail and found another dot of blood after which the trail ran cold. It was then that my 5 year old son said to mommy that he found some blood.
The boy hit pay dirt. I followed the trial and laid a piece of toilet paper to mark each finding. As we progressed, the blood trail got bigger and then there was the prize, my spike buck. Something took a bite out of the area where my bolt had hit the deer, but there was still much deer left. I then field dressed the buck and dragged it to the truck.
My 5 year old son was very proud of what he had just done and this event will stay with him always; I guarantee it.
He still brings up this day he became a tracker like Daniel Boone. Yea, being 3 feet off the ground helps, but it also built up confidence of what he is capable of doing. So maybe we cannot always take the young kids on the hunt, but involving them in events like this will be something they will cherish and remember for a lifetime. Share your hunting sport with your son and daughter. They will remember this experience and pass down to their son and daughter. Get that deer and be safe.

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