In yearly updates that he has been sending for the past four hunting seasons, David Baker of Glenburn has shared a number of interesting tales with our readers and me.
There was the time he got treed by an angry bull. And the time he saw an albino deer … and a skunk … and bald eagles.
The common theme, however, has been the good-natured competition he shares for family bragging rights with his son Josh, now 15.
Shooting the first deer of the year is good. Shooting the biggest deer is better. But as it turns out, simply sharing the experience is the best of all.
Baker checked in again this week with another e-mail, and it seems that he wasted no time in putting the pressure on Josh.
Here’s some of what Baker had to say:
“I asked my boys if they wanted to go sit in the woods with me last evening [Sept. 25] and see if the deer were moving around one of my favorite places to hunt within the expanded archery zone, in a hedgerow on the back end of a 100-acre cow pasture with plenty of apples and berry bushes,” Baker wrote.
Baker said that he’s one of few hunters who have access to the property, and because he was sidelined with a broken leg at the beginning of last year’s season, he felt the deer likely had little hunting pressure in 2009.
Not that the day was ideal for deer hunting, mind you.
“It was unseasonably warm, around 72 degrees when we left the house and the wind was blowing a good 10 to 12 mph,” he wrote. “The trees haven’t changed much and were very full so it would be hard to see any movement inside the woods, and if the wind kept blowing, we wouldn’t hear a thing.”
Still, the Bakers headed out. David Baker wrote that Josh is playing football at John Bapst this fall, and finding time to hunt together will be a challenge. Any opportunity, therefore, was worth seizing. And this time, he decided to take his younger son, 8-year-old Aaron, along as well.
The weather cooperated and at 5:30 p.m., the wind died down. The Bakers watched squirrels and a dozen turkeys.
The turkeys provided quite a show for the hunting party.
“Having seen previous flocks in that area many times in the past, I knew the trees they were going to roost in for the night were right in front of us and the boys had front-row seats as these large, 15-plus-pound birds took to flight,” Baker wrote. “We all had a good (but quiet) laugh at just how ungraceful they are when they land on a roost in a tree full of leaves. The sound is like a 60-foot oak tree falling over in a silent forest full of smaller trees.”
After the turkeys settled in for the night, David Baker showed his sons the route that deer likely were to take if they showed up in front of their ground blind.
“This was Aaron’s first trip deer hunting and he was watching the woods intently. His eyes were the size of silver dollar pancakes when he spotted the first two deer standing 15 yards into the field in an area he had only turned his attention away from not five seconds before,” Baker wrote. “His excitement was overwhelming and I could hear the shaking in his whisper when he pointed them out. He learned immediately why I called this ‘the heart attack stand,’ because one minute you are watching a squirrel and the next minute the deer seem to magically appear before you.”
After a tense wait, one of the does presented a shot that Baker liked.
“It was a quick and clean kill shared with my two best hunting buddies,” Baker wrote.
Now, of course, Josh has some work to do if he hopes to reclaim family bragging rights. And that’s the way David Baker likes it.
“For Aaron, this was a first trip he will never forget, and for Josh, all I had to say was, ‘I’ve got mine. Now the pressure’s on you!’” Baker wrote.