Thomas Delhey is National Sales Manager for VANGUARD USA
and an avid bow and gun hunter. This fall, he’s working to help
make his son Kyle’s dream of harvesting his first deer come true.
Here’s the story of their first hunt.
Questions filled my youngest son, Kyle’s, mind and left his mouth faster than I could respond, as we prepared for the morning hunt on the eve of the opening day of whitetail archery season in Michigan.
I can remember my first hunt and how excited I was, and Kyle was no different. Morning could not come fast enough; he was ready to hunt deer!
I set the alarm for 5:30 a.m. and went to bed. I woke to light taps on my arm.
"Dad, is it time to go?"
With one eye barely open, I looked at the clock. It was 4:30 a.m. Kyle was wide awake. I had him lay down with me to try to get one more hour of rest, but it was no good. He was too excited.
The thought of his first deer, possibly a big buck, was overpowering. I had no choice but to get up and get going.
The questions from the night before picked up the minute we were in the car, except I think they were coming even faster now. Thank goodness our drive was only eight minutes!
We met my hunting buddies at the property and proceeded to walk to a ground blind in the back field. The flashlight illuminated the path as we walked quietly to the blind.
Once inside, I gave Kyle the center chair and sat down in the corner. The crossbow rested on the Quest T62 shooting tripod and Kyle’s lap. It was very dark in the field, and I asked
Kyle several times how far he could see.
“Not too far, Dad.”
Shadows played tricks on our eyes, as we strained to see through the dark. I finally pulled out my Endeavor ED binoculars to get a better look at one of those shadows.
What I saw was shocking: a 6-point buck standing broadside at 35 yards and looking right at us!
I asked Kyle if he could see it, hoping his young eyes would fare better than mine, but he couldn’t. We took turns using the binoculars to watch the buck walk off across the field in the dark.
“Will he come back?” Kyle asked.
“I hope so Kyle,” I said. “I really do.”
Finally, at about 9 a.m., a buck emerged from the swamp into the field. He was out of range, so all we could do was watch.
The buck kept walking back and forth across the field. It was like he didn’t know which way he wanted to go. To our luck, he turned toward our blind. He had worked about 30 yards away and was feeding.
But there was a problem: he was on the wrong side for Kyle to get a shot at him. We tried to move slowly, but the buck must have caught some movement or heard a sound, because he disappeared back into the thicket.
Kyle said it was my fault the buck got away, and I played along.
The rest of the morning was calm. Kyle curled up and fell asleep in his chair, and I thought about where to sit for the evening hunt.