I was 13 years old and sitting in a deer stand by myself for the first time. It was a mild November evening, I had my Winchester Model 70 featherweight in hand and I was ready.
Eventually I heard leaves crunching behind me and I was already deciding how the taxidermist was going to mount that big buck. Then, I saw two of them, two beautiful, but annoying, Labradors out for an afternoon stroll. My 13-year-old self was aggravated but I sat patiently. I wound up shooting a small 5-point, but it was my first buck. This was long before cell phones, so I had to wait for my dad to come to my stand after I shot to share the news. That buck still hangs on the wall in my garage, and it’s still a trophy. So is the 7-point that hangs in my son’s room as a trophy of his first buck.
The first youth firearms season this year is November 2nd and 3rd. The late youth season is November 29th- December 1st. Hunters can find information about upcoming hunter education classes in the area at www.mdc.mo.gov. Take a minute to take a kid hunting. Even if the only thing they see is Labradors, squirrels, and armadillos, they will always remember it!