Through a Father’s Eyes: A Son’s First Deer Season

A person will never forget their first deer or their first buck.  Those are moments that are monumental, both as a hunter and as a Texan.  And this season I was fortunate enough to share those special moments with my oldest son, Waylon, during his first deer season as hunter instead of an observer.

Back in November 2023, he was able to harvest his first deer ever, a doe, on our family farm at age five. He made seven sits in a blind during the week of Thanksgiving before getting a shot opportunity at a doe. During one particular evening hunt, he made an excellent shot at a raccoon, right at dark at about 80 yards. There I was disappointed that he hadn’t gotten a shot at a doe, yet the youngster couldn’t have been more elated and pumped up about his raccoon. So you can imagine how excited he was, and how excited I was, when he made a great shot on his doe later that week.

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Passing on the Hunting Heritage: Mason Beathard’s Trapping Story

I often joke about having to release my son Mason one day into the wild as a mountain man. He has taken on a deep interest in the “old ways” and hunting in general. This started with a generational connection to the hunting tradition that our family cherishes. His great-great-great-grandpa, Leonard, was a trapper, and his great-grandpa Larry was an avid muzzleloader hunter. Though there are many generations in between, those were the outdoorsmen Mason resonated with. He grew interested specifically in trapping and traditional forms of hunting. My mom has held on to old family relics like traps, deep-sea fishing lures, and lots of pictures. Mason has taken the connection to the past and fueled his passion for his future. As he says, “It was very interesting, and I feel like the old ways of doing things hold more value.”

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