boy posing with first deer

First deer moments

It’s in the blood

Hunting is a deep tradition that my father started with me. When my son was born, I hoped that he would have the same passion I did for the outdoors. It didn’t take long to figure out that his passion may be stronger than mine. At age 3, he started going on hunts with me and immediately loved it. The first few trips were short. He, spent more time playing and eating snacks, but always asked questions about hunting.

First Deer: 6 years, 6 points

On an October afternoon in 2014, at the age of 6, his passion came to the forefront when he shot his first deer. It was a 6-point that came into a food plot. I whispered in his ear all the things I had taught him as he prepared to take the shot. He looked up with a nervous look and said, “when he turns like you told me I’m going to shoot him.”  At 50 yards, the buck turned broadside and my son settled in and took the shot. Before I could even process what had happened, he was running out of the hunting blind screaming with excitement about shooting his first deer.

Proud father

I couldn’t quit smiling, and I was crying at the same time. It was the smile on his face and the excitement in his eyes. It was the way he told the story over and over to everyone we called that assured me his love for the outdoors was far greater than I ever anticipated it would be. He has since taken a doe and has caught numerous fish, but that day will forever be etched in his memory, as well as mine.

– By Kevin Cantell

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