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One of my grandchildren has picked up some of my hunting enthusiasm. I am either hunting somewhere, scouting or thinking of hunting 365 days a year. Some people have even had the nerve to suggest that I might be obsessed with hunting. People golf, curl, play hockey, fish or participate in some sort of sporting activity, I hunt because I am a hunter.

Jake started going hunting with me when he was two years old. Once on a cold November day I shot a deer and showed Jake how to field dress it. When we got home he told his grandma that grandpa had made the deer hot. We finally figured out he was talking about the steam coming off the deer as I field dressed it.

Ten years later, in 2008 and after a ton of hours in the field with grandpa either setting up decoys and building blinds for ducks and geese, or sneaking in on some big game animal, Jake has taken up the torch.

Grandpa, Jesse and Jake pose with Jake's first deer.
He attended the hunters training course, ran a ton of shells through his new 12 gauge shotgun and fired numerous rounds through a little Remington Mohawk 243. His first year in 2008 actually shooting at the ducks and geese cost him a lot of shells for a few birds. He just kept saying that the more he practiced the sooner he would start hitting the birds like grandpa. Jake does know how to make an old fella feel pretty good.

Jake Andrews first buck taken in 2008.
His deer hunting in 2008 went well as he took a nice mule deer doe for his first deer. His younger brother Jesse (who would rather play baseball than hunt, which is just fine with grandpa) was with us on this hunt. It was pretty cool to hear Jesse say, “Great shot Jake! Can you get me the heart and liver?” It was even better to hear Jake say, “Sure, grandpa showed me how.”

Yup, Jake knows how to make an old fella feel good.

Jake’s next deer in 2008 was a nice whitetail buck. I don’t know who was smiling more, Jake or grandpa.

Fast forward to September 1, 2009. I looked over in the blind and saw this young thirteen year old with a grin so big I could hardly see his head. We had just had three nice flocks of geese decoy into our spread and I looked out and saw four big Canada’s lying in the stubble. I had not taken a shot at any of these geese but the grin on Jake’s face and the smoke rolling out of his barrel said it all. The practicing had paid off big time as he had just taken some real nice birds. His next words to me were, “Get ready grandpa, there’s another flock coming in.”

Jake Andrews the goose hunter 2009.
So the rest of September and October 2009 went something like this: scout for birds; set up decoys; build blinds; and watch Jake grin and the smoke keep rolling out of the end of his new shotgun.

Every Friday night after school I would hear these words: “Grandpa, can we go hunting tomorrow?”

Jake’s 2009 big game season went well as he started off with another nice mule deer doe. He threw a little curve ball at grandpa as he told me not just any whitetail buck was going to do this year. He passed on some nice deer and we spent a lot of hours checking out many different honey holes that we have hunted over the years.

We finally found a real good whitetail buck in one of these spots and Jake looked at me and nodded his head. The buck was feeding on the edge of a field along with four does. There was a small rise between us and the buck so it was down on our bellies and the crawl was on.

Jake's 2009 whitetail buck.
About halfway to the top of this rise I looked over at Jake thinking he might complain about all the thistles we had just crawled through, but all he did was grin back at me. We reached the top of the rise and I could see the buck clearly out about 200 yards. Jake couldn’t see him as he wasn’t able to look over the rise without moving farther ahead than me. Jake made his move ahead and I could see him get his little 243 ready and the buck was quartering away perfect. At the report of his rifle the buck jumped in the air and tried to run but only went some 30 yards and disappeared from site.

We waited a few minutes to see if he would reappear but he did not, so we went over towards where he had disappeared. There he was lying in the field. I looked at Jake and there was that huge grin again. Jake looked at me and said, “Thanks grandpa for taking me hunting.”

I thought to myself as I looked at this young hunter, ‘Thank you Jake for the magic words’.  

“Grandpa, can we go hunting tomorrow?” ■

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