When Nathan said that to me the other week during an evening fallow hunt, it immediately reminded me of when I turned to Dad on the evening of a sika hunting trip on April 12, 1989 and uttered to him, “Don’t move Dad!” before lining up and taking the shot on a Southern Kaimanawa 8pt sika stag. It was my first deer and cemented my love of hunting and the outdoors.
30 years on and Nathan and I are on a serious mission this summer to harvest a fallow. We have spent plenty of hours among the Te Puke herd setting up trail cameras, stalking the farm edges and bush interior. We have put up several deer, but are yet to take one!
I’ve spoken before about taking my time in the introduction of hunting to the kids. I want them to experience it at their own pace and not pressure them into it.
However, as times goes on, it is now Nathan who is applying the pressure to take him for a hunt or shoot and this is exactly what I was hoping for. He’s into it now, I can see the enthusiasm building and that was solidified to me that other evening when he asked to stay just that little bit longer in the hope of a deer popping out of the bush and onto the farm edge.
As often as he will listen, I have talked about how these cheeky little fallow deer live just on the verge of the forest and farmland and that if we position ourselves looking over ‘Nathan’s Gully” we just might get the chance at one. And, as kids do, he remembered it. It was a neat moment and as we huddled together to keep warm, I couldn’t have been any prouder of him.
On that note, I hope that all the parents in a similar position to us, with an up and coming hunter or huntress, find that with gentle encouragement, their children will find their way into this awesome lifestyle.
From all of us at NZG&H, thanks for supporting the magazine and we wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and New Year! Cheers,
Nik, Amanda, Nathan & Ruby/NZG&H
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