Family Hunt…Start of a Tradition!
Jim contacted me back in the summer to set up a hunt on the Patio Ranch with his two sons; he had been to the Patio Ranch twice in the years past and had taken a great Manchurian Sika as well as a really nice fallow deer. Since that time, Jim had been busy hunting and successfully taking the Big 5 and Dangerous 7 (including Cape Buffalo, Crocodile, Elephant, Rhinoceros, Lion, Hippopotamus, and Leopard) in Africa. Now, he was wanting to help his sons get back into hunting after a lull of a few years while Peter and Michael had been busy getting started in their lives and careers. All three of them had, in the past, eaten and enjoyed venison from animals they had hunted. That would be the main goal of this trip while re-introducing Jim’s sons to the thrill of the hunt and sharing special time together.
The three men had met at the airport and driven to the ranch together. After re-uniting with Jim and meeting Peter and Michael, the rifle range was our next stop to test fire the weapons. Some adjustments were needed on the scopes and soon all three of the hunters were satisfied that they and the weapons were ready for the hunt. The first opportunity for a management axis buck reflected the adjustments and practice…a shot through a small window of brush dropped a management axis yearling buck in his tracks. Peter had drawn first blood and set the bar high for his brother and father to follow! The light of the first day faded before any opportunities for other shots were presented; but, the promise of the next day was still very vivid in the minds of the hunters.
The next day started with Michael harvesting an axis doe very early and then Jim harvesting a management sika buck. The first cycle of hunting was complete. Now we started with a second hunt for each of the gentlemen for more management animals. As the day progressed, Peter harvested another axis…a doe this time. Michael followed with a management axis buck. The day had been very productive in the category of putting meat in the freezer. More importantly, it gave the three men a chance to reconnect to their past of hunting together. The family bond between the father and his two sons was a joy to share as they bantered and talked of old times and new.
The final day dawned with one more animal to take so that each would have two animals to process and put in the freezer. Jim had an opportunity as the hunt was drawing to a close and did not squander the chance to take the last axis doe. Throughout the hunt, I learned about Michael’s and Peter’s lives: the different roads taken by each with the connections to family staying tight and important. The relationship of the sons with the father sharing this hunting heritage was the most enjoyable part of the hunt for me. It reinforced the importance of sharing common experiences with loved ones.
Please join me in congratulating Jim, Peter and Michael on a great hunt! We at the Patio Ranch would like to thank them for sharing their special experience with us here on the ranch and we look forward to hearing them relate their hunting tales next time we meet because we know they will truly ”…tell a different hunting story!”