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Photo from Beth Darnell

Deer hunting provides bonding opportunities

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Deer hunting provides excellent opportunities for father-son or parent-child quality time together. Spending time in a small deer stand is close company togetherness. If video games are left at home and attention is on the deer feeder and outdoor surroundings, with quiet conversation between parent and child, the benefits are huge.

The recent pursuit of a specific deer by Tanner Majors and his father is the perfect example. Tanner is the young grandson of long-time San Marcos residents Bill and Barbara Majors.

The story begins with pre-season scouting.  Serious hunters always do their home work.  Good hunters always scout.  The nominal or occasional hunter just shows up on opening day hoping to see a deer.  Maybe he gets lucky. But real hunters stack the odds in their favor.

Tanner tells the story, “We were checking the game camera pictures and my dad said there is a picture that I might want to see.  On the computer screen there was a picture of a buck looking straight at the camera.  The buck was old and had four points on his right side, like a regular eight point, but on his left side he had a long antler that forked and looked like a dog bone.  I immediately leaned in and whispered in my dad’s ear ‘dubs on that one’.  My dad said that we would have to see what the land owner would say.

Tanner’s dad, Bill Major II, keeps a chart of all the different bucks on the property.  The chart records the ages of all the bucks and names have been given to most of them.  Tanner watched the computer screen and saw “Dog Bone’s” picture.  Underneath the buck’s photo it said “Tanner’s buck”.

“I asked my dad, ‘really’, and he responded, ‘yes sir’,” said Tanner.  “Now all I had to do was wait for opening day of deer season to arrive. I was so excited to begin searching for Dog Bone.”

Camping with one’s Dad in the hunting cabin the night before opening day is always an exciting time. I can remember many such nights. I’m sure 12 year old Tanner felt like a real man eating BBQ with the men and listening to hunting stories.

Tanner continues his story. “We woke up at 5 a.m., got dressed, hopped into the red Toyota pickup truck, and headed to the blind that we call Log Cabin. My dad and I sat in the blind with one of those little cans that has fire in it to keep our hands warm.   We were unsuccessful because Dog Bone, being an older buck, was only showing up at near dark. After the first two hunts I started to worry that I was not going to get this buck, but my dad said ‘don’t worry, we will get him’.”

The father-son duo hunted three weekends without success. They never caught a glimpse of Dog Bone. But they kept trying.

“We went back to the blind to try again. I had dozed off in the blind on a morning hunt, and woke up to my dad tapping me on my leg and whispering ‘wake up Tanner, wake up.' I opened my eyes to see my dad pointing out the window. He said, ‘Look who showed up.' I looked out the window and did not see anything. Then I looked out the window on the right, and there he was approaching from the right, stopping to look around and then taking a few steps. I stared in awe as I got the gun out the window. He walked and walked, but I could not get a shot. He walked behind the pen and I got scared because he was walking away from me toward the woods. I started losing faith to get Dog Bone, but then a doe came out on the left of the feeder pen. Dog Bone stopped and walked to the left slowly. He walked past the pen but would not stop.  Suddenly, my dad whistled, and Dog Bone stopped walking. My dad whistled again louder, and this time Dog Bone looked at me. My heart was pounding, and the scope on the .308 was shaking. ‘Boom,' and Dog Bone dropped and stayed there.  I put another bullet in the chamber and kept the scope on him. My dad whispered ‘dropped him.' We waited a few minutes, and then got out of the blind. My heart was still pounding. We walked up to Dog and looked at him lying there. He was a beautiful deer. I was so excited. We took pictures and loaded him up in the Toyota.”

Tanner will never forget that hunt. He and his dad did some real bonding hunting Dog Bone for those several weeks.

Tanner said, “I am especially proud because we did a skull mount, and it hangs in the living room with my family’s deer. Dog Bone is my biggest buck, SO FAR.”

I think this young hunter has joined the ranks of life-long hunters.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666