Welcome to December! It’s been reported last year approximately 126,000 deer were harvested in 2020-2021 which is the most ever recorded in Oklahoma (www.wildlifedepartment.com). Of that number, close to 75,000 of those deer came during rifle season. It’s time to get out the old dusty rifle and sling some lead to ensure those scopes are still sighted in. There are not many feelings worse than wounding a giant buck only to not be able to recover it. Be responsible and make sure the equipment you utilize will help you harvest that deer you’ve been dreaming about.
By now you’ve probably wondered about the title of this column, so I’ll get to it. My boys and I have had many life discussions while sitting in blinds at our lease. When my oldest was twelve (he’s now 15) my friends and I were texting about not seeing many deer and how the bucks were most likely “laid up” with the does toward the end of the rut. Curious, he said “Dad what does that mean when they “lay-up” with the does?” So here we go, I skirted the issues best I could about mating and what my friends and I were discussing. He looks at me and says “Dad I know what you are talking about, and I have questions.”
Oh boy, here we go. He asked questions and I gave him answers (within reason, of course). We talked about boys & girls, dating, relationships, our bodies, marriage, maturing, and sex. We were both a bit embarrassed, but I was so glad the topic came up. With social media today (unlike my early years) our children know significantly more than I knew at that age. They’ve seen more and heard more than I can even imagine. Although we monitor their internet usage, I’m no dummy. I’m also lucky enough to have teenage boys that tell me what their friends are doing, what they’ve seen, what their friends have said, etc. Not to alarm my fellow Chisholm parents, but I can assure you the things I hear are shocking. I’m not naïve enough to think my children are perfect or won’t make mistakes (the good Lord knows I have) but having these kinds of discussions with your children to me are paramount to their upbringing. More so now than ever.
Whether sitting next to a pond with some decoys in the water, sitting on the edge of a milo field waiting for a dove, fishing a creek, or sitting in a deer stand, spend these quality moments having “real-life” discussions with your kiddos. As much as you might want to avoid these topics when you are done your children will have the facts, know your expectations, and hopefully feel comfortable bringing up more challenging topics as they attempt to navigate this crazy world. Getting that quality time with my kids is just one of a million reasons I love the outdoors.
Until next time, fellow sportsmen (and women). . .