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Proud moment

December 10, 2017
Nick Buseman - Grundy County Operation Supervisor , Reinbeck Courier

Many of you can recall how important I feel it is to pass down our outdoor activities to our next generation. Research has shown through the sales of hunting licenses that the number of hunters is in decline. This is a reflection of what we are not doing to get our youth involved. Many hunters are very protective of the way they approach an activity, or the ground they have access to, and I'm no different. In the long run by being this way we are hindering our future.

As a father, it is one of my goals to get my children involved in the outdoors. Whether it is hiking, mushroom hunting, fishing, trapping, or small game hunting, I want them to experience it and hopefully fall in love with it. Having a son and daughter I get to experience the differences both genders bring to the table. My son is all about harvesting an animal or catching a fish; where my daughter is about enjoying the time spent together without pulling the trigger.

This fall was a true dad moment when I took my 7 year old son deer hunting for the first time. After practicing all summer and placing X's on the vitals of deer in hunting magazines he was ready for his first season. I had spent the summer planting and spraying our food plot in preparation for this moment. Running trail cameras on the plot I knew he would have the opportunity to harvest an animal and maybe even a nice buck. Excitement was at an all-time high for both of us.

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The first evening was a warm one where we didn't see much, but lessons were learned for him to be patient, sit still, and that it's not going to happen in the first time out. With a cool front scheduled to hit the next day I knew there would be deer feeding in the plot. With our faces painted and dressed in black to conceal us in our ground blind we were back in for an evening I will never forget.

About an hour into the hunt I needed to stretch my legs and stand a bit, but when I did, I spotted two does and two bucks heading into the plot. As I froze, I whispered to him that there were deer coming. As they began to feed, I slunk into my seat and handed him the gun. His breathing became accelerated as the bucks made their way into our shooting window. I cocked the hammer and told him to aim and slowly squeeze the trigger. The words were barely out of my mouth when I heard the gun go off and the buck tip over. Witnessing him shaking with the adrenaline rush, we hugged and enjoyed the moment. It was an amazing moment that makes me smile while typing this. He couldn't wait for me to say, "Let's go see him."

With Mom called and on her way we just relished in the moment of his first deer - pure enjoyment and proudness overtook us. With Mom and Sister there to be picked up, he wouldn't leave his deer; he stayed with it as I picked them up. It was awesome. To say I have him hooked for life is an understatement.

Some advice I would give is to make the outdoor experience fun for them. They are not as motivated or serious as we are. Bring snacks, books, let them play on your fun and educate them along the way. I didn't do the best at this on our first night out. I was hunting too much for success and not enough on enjoying the moment. They are not going to sit perfectly still and they may get bored, but we don't want that to be the memory they have of their first hunting trip. Open their eyes to what we all enjoy and let them fall in love with it without forcing it.



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