The Family That Hunts Together ....

NYDAN

Handloader
Sep 17, 2013
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Below is an e-mail message send from my friend and neighbor, Caleb T. to our mutual friend and forum member Roland (Rol_P). Caleb gave me permission to post his message here. Through the years, Roland has given Caleb a couple of Leupold rifle scopes which Caleb puts to good use. One of them is on a Marlin X7 chambered in 308 Win. I handload 150 gr. BT's for deer hunting with this rifle which has become Ashley's rifle of choice.

Caleb is a good, hard working, young man. He and his wife, Ashley, are active in their church and home school their children. Hence, they are a single income family and are creative on making ends meet. One of Caleb's projects during the past year was to build a (relatively) comfortable blind to use while hunting deer with his family. He acquired, for next to nothing, a pop-up trailer camper which had a broken cable system to raise the roof. He managed to raise the roof, prop it up, and frame in some cheap walls to hold up the roof. He used all scrap and re-purposed materials.

Here is the family size "camper blind".
Trailer Blind1.JPG

Here is his message to Roland:

Hi Roland!
Sorry I'm a couple days late, but it's been a busy weekend!

Opening morning, all 5 of us (Ashley, Noah, Ben, Sadie, and myself) headed out to hike to our trailer blind. We got settled in after what felt like forever, and began watching as light started to creep in just before "legal". It was dark, and we couldn't have safely shot even at legal light Saturday.

My Dad and brother Josh hiked up with us on the new trail Josh and I had put in. Once at the base of the hill, we split and went out sperate ways.

It was a quiet morning, but we heard quite a few shots throughout the surrounding hills and valleys.

Fast forward to 8:28am: I see a flash of antler though a thick spot between shooting lanes. (This is where Dan assisted me with brush hogging/pulling shrubs to regain the overgrown field on my Grandparents farm property) - this "brushy area" was left between lanes as there is a heavily used historical trail there.

I began exclaiming to Ashley "Buck! buck! There's a buck, get ready! (As quiet as I can of course). I kept asking if she could see him as he was approaching the shooting lane rapidly. I wasn't getting a reply for the first several times, but I never looked up so I could keep my eye on him. I put my rifle on the shooting rest and put the scope on the buck as backup. I asked several times if she was on him as he began quickly crossing the narrow shooting lane.. Ashley eventually replied she could see him as I prompted her to get him in the cross hairs. I said, "tell me if you want me to stop him!" I asked several times, and she said, "stop him!". I made a mild noise and he immediately stopped at the edge of the shooting lane and looked our way. Ashley was ready and pulled the trigger! I had him in the scope and was confident she made a kill shot. He "clenched" and ran down the hill, out of sight. Ashley immediately had her normal range emotions beginning at hyperventilating and ending near tears with "I don't think I got him". I encouraged her that it appeared to be a very good hit and not to worry. (I also heard a crash about 15-20 seconds after) I told her we should just sit in case I could get a shot on a buck as well, and after a while we would go track him. Here's where it gets comical- I asked why she didn't respond to me for so long as I was trying to help her get on the buck. I was so focused on the buck I didn't realize she had fallen asleep! It took her a bit to get her bearings and realize what I was saying.

We had a good laugh replaying what happened with the knowledge that she had dozed off.

15 minutes after Ashley shot, I heard a shot across the gully behind us, and knew it was dad or Josh. I jumped up and looked out my small "peek hole" on the rear facing window and saw a deer crashing down the gully. I jumped to the side window and watched a buck run up the hill, fall, and pile up 50yards from the blind. Dad had filled his buck tag with a young 6pt!

10-15 minutes later after some texting back and forth, Dad came, and field dressed the buck. He came to the blind and chatted for a few minutes afterwards, and I told him once he got back to Josh, we would start tracking.

We began looking for Ashley's deer and didn't find any sign of a hit where he had been. I suggested we quietly walk to the stone wall and look for blood in the direction he traveled. Part way there, Benjamin spotted first blood! We followed the trail which the kids kept up with, and shortly found the 6-point buck around 150yds away. Ashley's shot was a bit high, but a good kill shot none the less! It was a good double lung hit, with an exit in the liver. Ashley assisted with, and learned how, to field dress on this deer. It was comical and fun all around. We dragged the deer out of the woods and into the field. Ashley and the kids headed to the blind to pack gear, and I finished taking the deer down hill near the driveway.

We had packed enough gear to make lunch in the blind. This included 2 - 1lb propane tanks and a single thread on cooking burner, a small pot with lid, a small frying pan, a can of spam, 3 small cans of chicken noodle soup, some apples, 5 slices of bread and 2.5 liters or so of water. (We had warmed some water for hot coco about 8:45) We decided to make lunch before Ashley left and had a great time eating fried spam and warm soup together.

All-in-all, it was a great day with lots of memories made! Noah and I stayed the rest of the day until dark while Ashley, Ben, and Sadie headed home. We saw a lot of does in the evening, but no other bucks.

Here are some pictures of the day!

Caleb T. (And family)

Kids Ready to Go.jpg

On Watch.jpg

Ashley and Buck.jpg

Mom and Daughter.jpg

Spam.jpg
 
Being a youngster at deer came is a lasting memory.
Congrats to the buck slayers👍
 
That's awesome.
Everyone is having fun and making memories.

JD338
 
Now that is evidence of a healthy home life. The family that hunts together (kills game? eats?) stays together! Well done!
 
This story, and having donated a couple scopes to Caleb, pleases me beyond belief. Dan, thank you for posting the story and mentoring Caleb. God Bless and Merry Christmas. Rol
 
Great read!
Great folks here and I really enjoyed this story. Merry Christmas, Rol.

Vince
 
Congratulations!

Here, kids are not allowed to hunt.

But it reminds me of a hunt about a decade ago.

I was with a friend and killed a fallow deer

.Took it back to the house for dressing.

My elder son (20 in a week) came out and said "Waidmannsheil"!.

He leaned against the garage and said "Paps, I am hungry!".

I hab a nut-raisin mix in my pocket - we call it Studentenfutter "
So he leaned against the garage, munching away while I started dressing.


Then a conversation started


Paps?


Yeah?

Some might call us weird.


Totally agree - but why?


My school mates would start throwing up and here I stand watching you do that...


Well. We might be strange. Hunting isn't that mainstream where I live.

But my kids know where the steaks come from.
 
When my oldest daughter Danielle was 3, I got home from my yearly deer hunt and walked in the door to hear the TV. Bambie was playing and I hear "Why did we run mother"? Mother replies "because man was in the forrest".
The wife said my timing was impeccable...
I put Danielle's coat on to show her my buck. She looks him over and says "don't hurt him daddy, just take out the steaks". She coined the name "Spike Horn Steak" that both my daughters still use to this day 30+ years later!

JD338
 
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