I have such vivid memories of walking the fields for pheasants with my father. He would let me walk the edge of North Dakota "coolies" with an old .22, empty of course, but I got to be with dad. As early as five or six, walking with a gun in hand, I got the chance to experience hunting in it's finest form.
However, walking with a .22 and taking the first shot of a 12 ga. Remington 1100 are two totally different things. I still remember the spot where dad let me step out of the truck, take aim, and pull the trigger.
We always took the backroads back to town if we didn't fill our limit in the hopes of catching the late "scraggler" in the wheat fields. Dad had just spotted a couple roosters and had taken a fleating shot as they took off into the early evening sky. Rather than empty the chamber, he allowed me the "opportunity" to shoot his soda can off a nearby fencepost. As I took aim, he helped me steady the long barrel and stepped back.
Now, I would like to say the 3 in. mag. blew the can off the post, but honestly I don't remember. What I do remember is having to pick myself off my backside and dad howling in laughter. I swear it almost took my shoulder off and the gun was lying somewhere next to me. Now that I think about it, that might be the reason I had to have shoulder surgery in my javelin throwing days.
Well, this past Christmas, my brother and his son got the chance to experience the same memory. His son is nine and wanted to experience the thrill of the hunt with dad. His experience had the same outcome and he's now dreaming of the next trip to Grandma and Grandpa's.
It's tough living in the city and not having the same opportunities to give my kids what my father gave to me. The kids are only five, twin two-year olds, and one due in May, so I have a little time to start planning the trips home and giving the kids their first real "BOOM". I'm already laughing thinking about it....