Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hold Steady And Squeeze!

  "Dad come here quick I have to show you something on the computer". Zac yelled from the other room. I figured it was another picture of a great deer harvested, on some website. Zac was 10 and all he thought about was deer hunting. He lived just to see a deer in the wild. His room was covered in the antlers of the deer he harvested. He saved every empty  bullet casing from the rounds he used to harvest his deer with. You could take any empty casings from the box where he kept them and he could tell the story behind each empty casing. Every deer he killed had a name, Split, Crabby, Limp, Charolett, the list goes on. The land we hunted was sacred to him. The trees where our stand were hung were perfect in his eyes. I would try to move a stand and he would say "no Dad, remember we saw that buck from that stand" so I would leave the stand and hang another one where I wanted it. He was a deer hunter. As I wondered into the room where he was sitting at the computer I saw he was on my ebay account looking at a bow, it was a High Country youth bow, 30 to 50lbs draw weight. He looked at me with excitement and hope and simply said "I have $100.00 saved up and this auction will end in 7 mins will you please bid on it for me and I will give you my money" How could I say no? He had been mowing lawns around the neighborhood and saved every penny he made. I sat down and began bidding on the bow, and the price kept climbing and climbing. When it got to $105.00 his heart sank, you could feel the excitement leave his little body and he left the room. I kept bidding and finally won the bow for $130.00. I turned the monitor off and told Zac he could have the computer again. A few moments later when he realized I had bought the bow he came running in to the kitchen where I was sitting and threw his arms around me and gave me a huge hug. "Thank you daddy Thank you" Zac ran to his room and ran back in to the kitchen with his $100.00 and handed it to me. I took the money folded it up and put it in my pocket. For the next several days all he talked about was getting that bow. When it finally did arrive Zac met the UPS driver at the door. I signed for the bow and handed it to Zac. Zac tore the box open and held his bow. It was like Chirstmas morning. The bow was in really good shape, with just a few flaws. It needed a new arrow rest  a peep sight, and some arrows. Zac asked if we could go to the archery shop and buy the stuff he needed. Zac and I jumped in the truck and went to the store. I picked him up a new whisker biscuit arrow rest, 6 carbon arrows and a peep sight. I handed Zac the same $100.00  and Zac went and paid. On the way home Zac asked if that was his $100.00 and I answered nope it was mine. He smiled and slid over next to me in the truck beaming with happiness. When we got home we worked on Zac's bow and cut his arrows. He was dieing to shoot it. I gave him my bow release and we headed to the target area. After about 30mins of instruction we began sighting in Zac's bow. " Hold it steady son put your pin on the 10 ring and squeeze". Zac let the arrow fly. Zac hit the target but was off a bit. after a couple of hours Zac was hitting the 10 ring at 20 yrd. From that day on Zac was a boy on a mission. For about a month Zac shot from 20 yards. As time went on Zac's range increased. For the next year Zac shot his bow daily, in the cold, the heat, rain, and snow. Zac loved that bow. Zac got to be quite the archer. He was effective out to 35 yrds. Zac began begging me to let him harvest a deer with his bow. With archery season only a month away I agreed, but he had to shoot a doe first. I wasn't sure if the bow had enough power to make a good kill so I wanted him shooting a smaller deer. The month went by pretty quickly, and it was time to go hunt. Zac and I sat through several days of hunting before a deer came within bow range. Finally a doe showed herself about 100yards away, but she was going the wrong way. Zac asked me to call to her, so I did. I blew a few times on my fawn bleat and the doe turned and trotted right under our stand. Zac drew his bow, but the deer saw him, and the staring match was on. Zac took aim and hit his the release. A perfect shot. The arrow made a complete pass through, and the deer piled up only 25 yards away. Zac hung his bow on the tree next to us and sat on my lap. I began telling Zac how great of a job he did but he didn't respond, Zac couldn't speak, he was shaking like a leaf. After a few long minutes ZacZachuntin buddies will be etched in my mind forever. Now every year when bow season rolls around I have mixed emotions about going out to my deer stands without my little man. But the memories we shared are a life time of love and sharing, of laughter and joy. They are about the dreams of a child, and the hopes of a father, and most of all the grace of God for allowing me to raise his child for 13 years. So this deer season as I climb into my deer stands knowing my little man is looking down from heaven and I just have to remember hold it steady, put your pin on the 10 ring and squeeze. Then I will say my thanks to God for feeding my family and give my little man a thumbs up for teaching me to how to be a dad.
Written By Phil McAmis

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