Monday, September 2, 2013

Opening Day

Opening day of hunting season began  this year exactly the same way I got my wife of 43 years started shooting.  I made the same mistake on Valentines day 1968.  I had purchased a 20 gage shot gun for Deanna for a Valentine gift (For you doubters who think that is not romantic enough, note 43 year of marriage and 17 grandchildren!) and was so anxious for her to shoot  that I gave her NO instructions on how, plus I gave her a magnum shell.  On her first shot she hurt the recoil hurt  her shoulder, bruised her cheek and she bit her lip!  Fortunately for me it was a single shot.  She refused to shot it again but several weeks later in the spring we found a side winder out on the Lucerne Valley dry lake.  She wanted to shoot it herself and did.  She was so focused on the snake she never felt the gun go off!  She's been shooting snakes in the yard ever since with no problem.  This year,   Zandi, my oldest granddaughter was on her first hunting trip with a borrowed gun.  She is the third of my 17 grandchildren to turn 10.  It is my custom to start them off dove hunting and hopefully go deer hunting later in the season.  So far, Tanner 12 and Noah 11 have both bagged their dove and Deer.   We made the mistake of letting her take a practice shot at the target with pretty much the same result her grandmother had 45 years ago.  She was not real eager to shoot it again but I told her about Sweeties story and promised her she wouldn't feel the gun go off when shooting at a bird.  She didn't.  Zandi got her first dove with a .410 flying high above her.  Beautiful shot.  Then she got a cottontail rabbit.  Hopefully in October she will bag her first deer. She won't really feel the gun go off when she shoots her deer in October either.  In case you're  wondering, I did not encourage Zandi to shoot or hunt.  Didn't have to.  Her mother Aimee is an avid hunter and has taken deer and javalina with a bow, so it is in the genes. This year  everyone got drawn so we  have 8 deer tags!  Should be quite a trip.  Zandi will be shooting a custom version of the 7mm 308 her dad David had made for the one Jim built for Tanner.  Gram and Zane are to young for shotguns so we started them with bb guns in the filed to work on safety.  They still managed to shoot a rattler!  Noah shot another one too.  Lord willing we will be doing this every year for the next 10 years.  I still have 13 grandkids to turn 7.  The youngest, (Dusty's) Remington Walt Zimmermann won't even be born until my birthday in November, at least that is the way I requested it.  Technically he will be here December 1.  I'm sitting here right now thinking of going out this afternoon, but I doubt that I will, None of my grandkids are available right now.  Once you start hunting with grandkids, it really isn't the same without them.  We will go out tomorrow night.
L to R Gram, Jim, Tanner, Noah, Me, David, Zandi

Zandi's first dove