Control your story, don't let social media

The little deer was standing about 215 yards away when I saw it.

The weather was not conducive to deer hunting, it was warm and wet, and there was a good chance this was the only deer we’d see that day.

I could have let that little deer walk — as my hunting partner for that day, my 9-year-old son Shel, is too short when seated to see through the windows of the hunting blind.

I factored in the distance and honestly thought there was little chance the boy would actually hit the deer with a single shot from his rifle.

So, I made the call and told him there was a deer in the field. 

He almost leaped out of his skin.

I looked through the scope and placed the gun out the window of the stand for him. It was directly across my body, which was good, so I was able to coach him a bit as he readied for the shot.

“Take the gun off safe when you are ready to shoot,” I said. “Take a breath, let it out and squeeze the trigger in your own good time.”

He clicked the gun off safety.

He took a breath and let it out.

He put the gun back on safety.

“What’s wrong,” I said. No answer.

He clicked the gun off safety again.

He took a breath and let it out.

He put the gun back on safety.

I may have cursed a bit to myself when I heard the safety click back.

“What’s going on,” I said. 

“I don’t know,” he said.

“You’ve to shoot at some point if you are going to kill a deer,” I said. 

“OK daddy,” he said.

He clicked the gun off safety.

He took a breath and let it out.

He squeezed the trigger.

An instant after the report of the rifle, the deer fell to the ground dead, thankfully.

I worried, if he actually hit the deer, he’d deal it a less-than-instantly-fatal blow; both for his and the animal’s sake.

After I watched the little deer fall to the ground I turned and said, “You killed your first deer.”

“I did it daddy. I did it daddy,” he said numerous times. His eyes were wide with excitement and he wanted to run out of the stand that instant.

But we did the right thing. We sat in the stand for the next 10 minutes or so to be sure the deer was dead. We then rounded up our skittles, Dr. Pepper, gummy bears and gun and left the stand.

The walk to the deer from the stand seemed only to last an instant and soon, there we were, standing over Shel’s first deer.

I nudged the deer with the gun barrel to be sure it was dead and then Shel did something of his own volition. He got down on both knees by the deer, patted its back and said, “thank you,” to the deer.

We then spent a few minutes taking photos and looking the deer over. We waited into the darkness for our ride with Garren, Kirkland and John Couey. 

During the wait we heard owls, saw ducks and saw a low-orbit satellite whiz by in the clear evening sky. It had been a beautiful end to a wonderful day.

On the ride home, Shel called his mother and grandparents to tell them of his success. They were happy and Shel got to tell this story a few more times.

We would later share the photos on social media, but I now I wish we hadn’t.

I realized the true joy in a feat like this is the retelling of the story and not allowing an Internet platform to the tell the story for you.

I wish we could go back to that time when we told our own stories and filled our conversations with remembrances of those days instead of saying, “I saw where you did such and such on Facebook. That was cool.”

“That was cool,” isn’t much of a story.

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Angel Alert goes out to Amy Manning for rescuing a small pup with a severely injured leg this past week. Happy Birthday to Betty Lynn Cameron and Bill Andrews. Send alerts and birthdays to the contact information below.

Jon Alverson is proud to be the publisher and editor of the Delta Democrat-Times. Write to him at jalverson@ddtonline.comor call him at 335-1155.