Feature: Leaving the nest

Skyline bucks.JPG

At some point you leave the nest. In my case, it was post-college, after I took a teaching job in California. When I say leaving the nest, I don’t mean in the traditional sense — moving away from home, making my own way. No, leaving the nest for me meant giving up the safety blanket of hunting with others. I had no one else to go with me, but my drive was there so I hiked the mountain to hunt alone.

My mom is one-for-one in her hunting career; a Nebraska whitetail. It died instantly but she felt so bad that she made my Dad shoot it again and vowed never to kill another deer. Dad was not so lucky… We moved to Alaska when I was five, in 1986, and he helped a cousin pack a blacktail out of a clear-cut. That miserable experience tainted his view forever. All that work for such a little deer. It killed his hunting career before it ever started, so I didn’t grow up hunting.

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