Sam’s Hunt

Sam was the youngest of our children. I had begun to expose him to the outdoors and the shooting sports at an early age. What other youngster could say that he had shot his daddys pistol at age six? Every time that Sam touched a gun he was under intense scrutiny. Safety was the primary concern 7.62×39 hunting ammo . He began to accompany me on my deer hunting trips. We had a cabin located in prime hunting territory where deer were abundant.. The usual things happened on those occasions. Sitting in a tree with his dad was not enough. He would talk and use the tree trunk for a drum set on most hunting trips. Singing was his number one priority on these excursions. I never saw any deer on my trips to the deer stands with Sam. It really did not matter. Time well spent with my son was far more important than venison.

School came. Sam developed other interests. I volunteered for coaching duties in football and baseball. He belonged to the band for a short period. There was school work and athletics. The spare time that he had left was devoted to fishing. Fishing at dads stock tank was a number one concern for him. Time flew . The next thing I noticed about Sam was that he was growing into a young man.

A very good general purpose deer rifle was given to him. It sported a scope that matched the integrity of the rifle. We made a trip to San Saba to hunt deer. He had the opportunity. He told me later that when the deer came into his sight picture he began to shake. Welcome to deer hunting. Sam lost interest to a degree after this hunt.

Sam’s rifle was lost. I loaned him another. I had obtained this rifle in a purchase over the internet. It was a good and sound used Marlin in 30-30 caliber. Sam became interested in going on a hunt one more time. I gave him about 100 rounds of ammo that I had hand loaded. Practice sessions began in earnest. When he shot up the given ammo I loaded him more. One day he was handling the rifle in our cabin and it came apart. He brought me 4 or 5 pieces and the gun. He did not have a clue on the procedures required to put the pieces back together again. My wife took the rifle and extra parts to the local gun smith. It would be 4 months before he would have time to repair the Marlin. She brought the rifle home and I repaired it myself.

I had booked a hunt at one of the local game ranches. The reasoning for this departure was that I did not want Sam to sit in a stand for days and lose interest again. We were at the ranch before day break. I had booked a hunt for axis deer and hogs. The hunt was to last two days. My aunt died and plans were changed . Extra time was needed to go back to the big city for the funeral. We began to transverse the ranch. A big ram came into view. Sam’s first shot was low. The second shot was on the money. The ram went down without taking a step, succumbing to a single shot. We next approached a beautiful 8 point white tail buck. One shot and the buck was down. Sam’s confidence was growing in leaps and bounds. The hog never knew what hit him. Sam and the guide approached the downed hog. The guide put his boot on the neck of the hog without interference. The hog exploded with an intended end run to the safety of the trees. Sam’s shot was true. The hog was stopped in it’s tracks. Sam walked up to the hog and the hog jumped up and tried for the forest again. Sam’s third shot was terminal. Hogs are tough critters to bring down.

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