Debutantes to Dove Hunts

Posted September 26th, 2012 by Wade

Last Sunday I got a little “middle daughter” time with L.  She had requested a hunt with dad, all by herself.  So we took off to the ranch middle afternoon.  Requisite stop for candy/snacks at the gas station halfway there and on to the ranch.

When we got there, we went around and pulled the cards from the game cameras and downloaded to my laptop.  One of the feeders wasn’t throwing corn so went to work to see what was wrong.  Appears a loose/broken wire at a connector was the culprit and a quick fix got the feeder spinning again.  L and I will have to fix it more appropriately at a later date, as simply wrapping a wire around the battery terminal isn’t acceptable.  L also requested that we pick a few flowers and go visit H’s grave.  Laid a few flowers by H’s headstone, said our “good dog!” and “I miss you’s”, put a few flowers on W’s grave too (a recent addition to the dog graveyard by nephew A’s buddy T) and went to get our dove gear.

We set up by one of our tanks and got down to the business of dove hunting.  I’d brought the slingshot to let the newly taught L get some practice flinging rocks into the tank.  Showed her how hand position and grip were critical to making the rock fly straight and farther than dropping at her feet.  She caught on pretty quick, then rapidly got bored.  We chatted about kindergarten, a tooth recently found to be loose, and all things important.  The birds weren’t flying too well, but I wound up with a couple for the bag.  Each time L would want to get the bird and bring it back (who needs a dog?).  Each time L would only hold the bird by the very end of a single tailfeather.  Of course, that means plenty of drops, pulled feathers, etc.  The important part is that she wasn’t afraid or grossed out by the bird.  She just didn’t really want to grab it by the foot as I suggested.

Something that struck me while we were sitting there watching the skies enjoying our time together, was that just 24 hours prior, L was a trainbearer in a debutant ball.  Big formal dresses, black ties (I wore boots of course), deep southern bows to the audience, multi-generation tradition for J’s side of the family, escorts, formal names, pomp and circumstance.  All the things you would expect (or guess, I suppose).  I tried to explain to L that a little girl can easily transition from the elegance of formality, to the simplicity of the outdoors, and do it with passion.  Just because you do one, doesn’t mean you cant do the other equally well.  In fact, it takes a special kind of girl to be able to do both.  Hopefully all my girls will take note of this as they grow up.

By the end of the day I was reminded how difficult it is to hunt with a 5 year old.  But as we held hands walking back to the truck (shouldering an unreasonable amount of gear in my other hand) I was also reminded how important it is to hunt with a 5 year old.


Well, it’s alright to be little bitty,  A little hometown or a big old city

Might as well share, might as well smile,  Life goes on for a little bitty while.

Little Bitty – Alan Jackson

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