all set to go

Just got done packing the Explorer in preparation for the annual hunting trip. My family has been hunting whitetail deer in Marinette County, Wisconsin for decades. It’s a pretty solid tradition; every year, on the Friday before Thanksgiving, my dad and his brothers converge at the hunting cabin in the woods near Beecher. My brother and I also go, though he can’t make it this year.

But this is a pretty exciting year for me. Being the father of three beautiful daughters, there was a time where I thought I wouldn’t have the opportuntiy to pass this tradition down to another generation. But my youngest is head over heals in love with hunting. She starting coming with me when she was 10. Her first two years, she would just sit with me in the woods, and enjoy nature.

Well, now she’s 12. Wisconsin law says that a 12-year-old can hunt with a firearm if they have completed a state certified hunter safety course. She finished her course in September. I bought her a Rossi .243 single shot rifle with a scope. We’ve been going to the rifle range to get her used to her gun. And now we’re all set. I can’t tell you how excited I’ll be if she pulls that trigger and drops her first whitetail.

And there’s a twist. Over the years, I’ve shot several does, but I’ve never shot a buck. In order to shoot a buck, you have to first see one. Well, I finally got my first shot at one last year and missed. So, my daughter is excited at the possibility that she may shoot a buck before the old man. Yeah, we’ll just have to see about that.
So we packed the car tonight with all of our supplies for the weekend. We’ve got the rifles, ammunition, warm clothes, and plenty of food. We’re heading out first thing in the morning. It’s only a 90 mile drive, so we’ll be there in no time.

This year, we’ll hunt with my dad and two of his brothers. The season officially opens at sunrise on Saturday. So, Friday night is a great time for all of us to sit around the table in the cabin and just shoot the shit, and catch up on what’s been going on in our lives.