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From one Generation to the Next

Keith ParkerBy Keith Parker

-- I have taken a few bucks during my years of hunting, but this particular buck was the best harvest of my life because it involved my 4-year-old son, Brennden. He is the type of child who eats, lives and breathes hunting and fishing. It is a hunter's dream come true when his child shares the same passions for the outdoors. 

I hunt in West Virginia and our rifle season starts the week of Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, I had to work the first three days of this season. Thanksgiving Day arrived, and it was snowing and bitterly cold outside. I wasn't able to take my son out on a deer drive until about midmorning after it warmed up a bit.

There is a hill behind my parent's house that is an excellent place to make a deer drive. I figured the longest he would be out in the cold would be an hour or so. This was my opportunity to get him out on a hunt. 

I got him dressed as warm as possible, and we started off to our location. I had shot an 8-point buck several years before in this same area during a deer drive. I had a spot picked out where I wanted Brennden to sit, but the hillside was too steep for him to climb. We decided to sit at the bottom of the hill.

I really didn't care if I harvested a buck or not. More than anything I wanted my son to see some deer action up close. Halfway through the drive, my dad got on the walkie-talkie and asked if we had seen anything. I told him no. Little did I know that he was watching an 8-point buck go around the hillside toward us.

Just then I heard a deer, and it was head right at us! It stopped about 30 yards in front of us. My son looked up and said, "That's a doe, Daddy. We can't shoot her." I told him that he was exactly right, but I noticed that the doe kept looking behind her. 

I told Brennden to look up the hill because there was something else coming. Just then the doe took off and a buck stopped in the same place where the doe had been standing. My son never said a word. He just sat there as quiet as can be. I pulled up the rifle and fired. My son spoke up as soon as the buck went down.

"Daddy, you got a big one! Daddy, you got a big one," he shouted. My cousin, who was one of the drivers, was about 100 yards away and could hear my boy yelling with excitement. This hunt happened two years ago and Brennden still talks about that day quite often. 

I will always remember that hunt because I am sure it will always keep that drive and love of hunting in his heart.

Keith and Brennden Parker
Nashville, North Carolina

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