By Tim Christensen
-- The 2007 season was an unexpected encounter between a boy and his dad, and it was much more than one deer. The season opened on a nice, cool morning in November with my oldest son, Charley. It was his second year as an eligible hunter in Minnesota, and we were comfortable in our stand, a two seater.
At about 5:45 a.m., we were in the stand watching and waiting. Time passed uneventfully until about 8:20, when I saw movement about 100 yards out in the Tamarack swamp.
I pointed to show Charley and we continued to wait. Suddenly, a 6-pointer ambled out of the swamp. Charley was a bundle of nerves and began shaking with anticipation. I told him to relax and that we had plenty of time. Next I reminded him to look only once at the rack to keep him from getting even more excited.
Things were already happening at a heart-pounding pace when, to our surprise, an even bigger buck is stepped out — a big nice 10-pointer.
I’d like to tell you much more about an event that was so special, but the simple truth is that Charley didn’t hesitate to switch to the bigger deer, and he took the 90-yard shot and dropped it on the spot. He let out a hoot and was immediately ready to jump down to go get it.
It wasn’t my first rodeo, so I told him to sit down and wait. He looked at me like I was crazy. I explained that it’s always best to give a deer a little time, especially if you have it to spare and asked him to give me 30 minutes.
He could see the buck on its side, which made it a little easier to wait. As we counted off the minutes — 20 of them went by — we got another surprise: not one, but two more bucks came out to the same spot. The first is a small 6-pointer, but the latter was a big old 9-pointer.
Now it was Dad’s turn to get excited! Even after 25 years of hunting and having taken several big bucks, my heart still pounds out of my chest. I tell my sons that if you lose that thrill, it’s time to hang up the gun. I took aim and took the shot, and the rest is history. It was an opener to remember — an unexpected encounter between a boy, his dad and four incredible bucks.