family hunting trips

Crevier hunting groupI’ve got a lot of oars in the water now-a-days, a lot of activities that I love. So perhaps I’ll just post a few photos from time to time. This one is from my family hunting trip last November. I figured I’d post this one first since I’ve been hunting since I was 10.

My family has been hunting for white-tailed deer in the woods of Marinette County, Wisconsin for decades. I’ve got a lot of great memories spending time with my extended family. We all meet every year at the family cabin in Beecher the Friday before Thanksgiving. It’s just one of those automatic things that we all look forward to.

The cabin was built by my great grandfather, Florian LeGrave in the 1940s. It’s got no running water and no plumbing. But it’s home sweet home for a weekend every year. This picture is our core hunting party. That’s me on the far left. My 10-year-old daughter, Randy is next to me. Then my dad, Stan Crevier, my uncle Al Crevier, my uncle Gary Crevier, then my brother Sean Crevier on the far right. My uncle Lion Crevier and his son Todd also hunt with us pretty often.

That picture was a great moment for me, because it represents the passing down of the hunting tradition to the next generation. Being the father of three girls, I’m grateful for the opportunity to share such a rich family tradition with both my daugther and my dad. I only wish my grandfather Wilfred were still around.

I hunted quite a bit as a teenager. But when I moved to the left coast at 22, I just stopped; if I couldn’t hunt with my family, I wasn’t gonna hunt. Then 12 years, 1 wife and 3 daughters later, we moved back to Wisconsin, and I picked up right where I left off. In 2003, Randy begged me to take her hunting with me. It broke my heart to say no, but she was only 9, and she just didn’t have enough knowledge of guns and hunting. She can’t carry a firearm until she’s 12, but I still want her to know and respect guns.

So when 2004 came along, I got her a BB gun for her 10th birthday, just like my Dad did for me. Then the two of us took a few trips to the cabin before the hunting season. I started the process of teaching her to shoot, teaching her to respect guns and what they can do, teaching her the 4 rules of firearm safety. It was a real interesting experience. I’m probably the biggest idiot/goof ball you’d ever meet. I joke and bullshit about everything. But when it comes to guns, I’m dead serious. And it was cool to see how Randy reacted to me. She’s kind of an idiot too, a chip off the old block so to speak; but she was dead serious too, right from the start.

So, she loaded up her gun with BBs, and when she pulled the trigger for the first time, it was immediately obvious that she’s a natural marksman. I put some empty beer cans up in a tree (good practice, even though most deer don’t climb trees). And she nailed those suckers! Unfortunately, she can’t carry a firearm during the season, so she just sits next to me, on the top of my hill, watching for deer. That was some good quality time.

So Randy’s 11 now, and we’ll do the same this year. She’ll sit with me, unarmed, and help me watch for deer. Then next year (2006), she’ll enroll in a hunters safety course, and she’ll be able to shoot her first deer.

An interesting angle on this whole situation is that I have still never shot a buck. I’ve shot many does throughout the years, but the big buck has eluded me. So Randy’s hoping that the trend will continue, and perhaps she’ll shoot a buck in 2006 before the old man has ever shot one. Also, in over 50 years, a woman has never shot a buck at the family cabin. So, the stage is set. Check back here around Thanksgiving for an update.