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Growing Memories


Growing Memories “YOUR ADVENTURES” by Rodney Brintle, Mossy Oak Prostaff

Hunting takes on a whole new dimension when you have a child to share it with. Caden is now ten years old and really starting to come into his own. I led him by the hand or carried him on my shoulders for the first five years of his life. From 3-d shoots, setting game cameras, or full blown hunting trips, if he said he wanted to go, he went. These are memories that last a lifetime. Soon he will find out what girls are and it won’t be cool to hang with old dad anymore. Until then, we press on. When he was eight, he took his first hog and at nine he took his first whitetail buck. A perfect first deer, small basket rack nine pointer and we were pleased to take him. This year, Caden had his sights set on a bigger fish to fry. I have never put a limit on what Caden is allowed to take and I never will. I’m a firm believer that if an animal gets your heart pumping, you should be able to harvest that animal. That’s what it’s all about isn’t it? Caden wanted something close to pope and young if he had the chance. I have been managing the deer on this farm for three years now and had several candidates that would fit the bill.

20130929_165713We filled our packs with snacks and other essentials like the lucky buck knife my cousin had given Caden for Christmas. Caden helped as we loaded a few stands and climbing sticks into the truck. Grabbed our Watson Airlock Camo Carrier, filled with our clothes, and the sprayer full of Carbon Synergy and we were prepared for war. As we got close to the spot, we noticed that the corn was still in. I started to get butterflies because I knew this was going to be a great night. We parked on top of the hill that overlooks the river. It’s a beautiful spot that whitetail dreams are made of. We got dressed on the tailgate and sprayed each other down with carbon synergy. I am a scent control fanatic and Watson Airlock and Carbon Synergy are two products that have increased our animal encounters by 50%. Sorry for the plug but if you haven’t learned about these products, you owe it to yourself to look them up. We both are now scent free and ready to dive into the great unknown. As we walk in, we notice that tracks and rubs litter the woods.  Hopes are high and this place is hot.

IMGA0002I quietly get the double set hung and climb down. I always follow Caden up the tree so I can clip him in. I had a close call a few years ago so safety is my first concern. As we settle in, I am thankful for another year in the woods with my son. Hunting with my parents kept me out of trouble as child and it’s doing the same for my boys. We joke around and have a granola bar as a train flies by. As the sun starts to fall, the temp does as well. The woods start to come to life. I can hear a few footsteps every now and then. I get Caden’s attention to watch as a doe and a fawn come from behind us and walk right underneath our stand. The fawn stops and scratches its face with its hind leg and we both get a chuckle out of it. The evening progresses and we see more does and Caden’s hope starts to fade with the sun. But I am still like a kid in a candy store. This is also my first night on stand this year.  We are in our final hour when Caden spots two does in the corn feeding. I noticed that one of the does kept her eye fixed across the field in our direction. I knew she couldn’t see us and she was stretching her neck to look over some of the shorter corn. Her eyes were fixed on the buck that now stood at twelve yards to our left. He slipped in silent as they sometimes do at this stand. The timber behind us is a river jungle. I slowly lifted the binoculars to make sure this buck was what my little buddy was looking for. I touched Caden’s shoulder as I handed him his bow off the hanger. I simply whispered…draw. Caden’s face went blank as he hooked the Carter release on the loop. The buck was already walking toward the shooting lane. Caden eased the string back on his bow. I asked if he had a clear shot and he whispered yes. I softly grunted to stop the buck and he walks as if he doesn’t hear me. My muscles tighten as I feel our shot slip away. That’s when Caden lets out a grunt that would wake the dead. I’m sure my eyes were the size of dinner plates and my heart skipped a beat. Any other time this would have scared deer out of the county, but this buck stopped on cue at the edge of Caden’s shooting lane. He let the Magnus stinger fly. The arrow found its mark just a little high and right. It entered the shoulder blade where the spine dips into the shoulder and dispatched the buck in his tracks.

caden 2013In seconds the woods were quiet again. All I could hear was our breathing, as if we had been chased by a bear. He asked me if the buck was a good one with tears in his eyes. I told him that it was a great buck and we both lost it. Such a huge accomplishment for him and the enormous amount of pride for me was more than we could take. We hugged and laughed and gave thanks for the moment that we had just shared together. I shook his hand as my father did with me when I shot my first bear. We set for about ten minutes to calm our nerves and climbed down. I text the family to tell them to put on the eggs momma because Caden just brought home the bacon. I basked in the pride as I watched his face light up as he got closer to the buck. Nothing like laying your hands on those horns for the first time. The buck was so much more than we could ask for. He was truly thankful and I was to. I gave him a hug and told him how proud I was. It’s not about inches. It’s about fun and love. We will hold these memories high for the rest of our lives. Children won’t remember things you bought them for Christmas or for birthdays, but they will remember times like these.  It’s good to be from this great land where we can still love the outdoors. Get out there and live it.

Caden’s Gear

Bow:  Hoyt Ruckus, set at 36 lbs.

Camo: Mossy Oak Brand Camo

Arrows:  Goldtip Expedition Hunter 35/55

Broadheads:  Magnus Stinger 100 grain

Strings:  ssstrings.com

Scent Control:  Carbon Synergy

Scent Proof Bag:  Watson Airlock Camo Carrier

Fall Restraint:  Hunter Safety  System Youth


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