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Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 10:55 am:   

Okay I'll try to make this as short as possible.
When I was 8 years old my dad started taking my on this annual hunting trip to a place called Hankey Mountain Camp Ground or North River for the first week deer season. That was 1970. Back then all I had to do was keep my grades up and mom and dad would let me miss school for a week and I would have to make up the work when I got back. No big deal. Now I have a son who is 10 and begging me to take him this year. Here's the caught, my wife is a third grade school teacher at my son's school. Today it is a big deal for a child to be out of school for a week and the work load is a lot more now than when I was in school. At my son's school the Principal has told the teachers they are not to issue early work to kids who are going to miss school becuase of going out of town or on Vacations. I told my wife we will say he sick. Being the stand up person that she is thats not going to fly.Plus she is worried how it will look to her principal that she would allow him to miss school for this reason. What do yall think...should I pull him out of school and just deal with the backlash from my wife and the school or leave him home and break the little guy heart. I'm stuck here. My wife did say that him and I should go up thanksgiving evening and hunt the last weekend. That way he will not miss any school.But that a long way to go for two days.
My ears are open
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 11:16 am:   

Tim, maybe a compromise is in order here. I think it's a different world today than when we were in school. A week out of school is a long time. Maybe you could compromise by taking him out of school on Thursday and Friday, giving the two of you Thursday/Friday/Saturday to hunt. I grew up in a non-hunting household, so it was not acceptible to miss school to hunt in my youth. I was granted permission to miss two days one spring to go with an Uncle to Cape Hatteras to fish. Be thankful you have a child who shares your interest in the outdoors. In my house, the saying is "If momma's not happy, nobody's happy!" If you don't work it out with the wife, there will be issues!
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 1:35 pm:   

I'm a teacher and I think it'll be ok considering his age and grade. Not too often do families get to spend time such as this together. It would be an excellent form of learning and bonding. Everything is not learned in school. This is just my opinion.
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 2:21 pm:   

I say the boy will learn things with u in the woods he will never learn in a class room.... Still I may opt for 2-3 days instead of 5...my 2 cents......Hody.. what u think?

Bird Dog
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 7:28 pm:   

I'm with dale and others here, I think the thurs -sat. compromise is a good one. I used to get out for the first day. Be sure and make up the work quickly though ie keep mom as happy as possible! I might also suggest that a whole week in deer camp at that age he might learn more than you want him to! Good luck, It won't break his heart for long either way, good for you for spending your time w\ him.
Posted on Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 7:40 pm:   

I mentioned this to my wife who's a teacher, and she said depending on how he was doing in school, missing the days didn't seem that much of a problem as long as he made the work up later on.

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 1:11 am:   

Heres my 2 cents , none of us have a promise of another deer season so I would take him while I had the chance we don't know what the future holds for any of us . Rules where made to be broken it will be an experience he will remember for the rest of his life.
Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 7:48 am:   


My wife and I argue about this a lot. I personally feel that a child is missing a great deal by not going. My grandfather told me there is more to learn than what’s in those books. (he was a school teach also). Now I am not against school, the kids should go, and they should do well. But they need that outdoor time by that you can only provide.

You will teach them more about living in one week than school will teach them in months/years. Outdoors, they learn from you the way you are, what you expect of them as a person, and how they should be (honest, hardworking, etc.).

You will teach them more hands one. This is hickory, white oak, red oak, ....., don't pee up wind, sort of how life works. Here is how you stay warm, and dry.

In my opinion, take the kid. He will gain more than staying at home. Bottom line he will remember those special times out in the woods for a life time (like you do).

Posted on Monday, October 18, 2004 - 8:00 am:   

I think the compromise is a good idea. You must not forget one thing, No one else has brought this important matter up yet. So I will- If the wife is not happy, No one is happy. If you all go and the wife aint happy, your trip will not be good. All you will be thinking about is coming home to a unhappy wife.
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 8:16 am:   

Well,my son and I will be headed up to the mountains on Thanksgiving. We will be eating 4 hours earlier so that we will not be getting up there to late. We will hunt Friday ,Saturday and just hang out togethr on Sunday. It's not the whole week but it a start. Just wish my daddy was still here to be a part of it. I guess in a wy he is.Thanks for all the in put. I hope yall don't think my wife is some kind of nagging women , cause she not. She is one sweatest girl a guy could have. She just really worries about our kids education.
Thanks Agian,
Posted on Friday, October 22, 2004 - 12:39 pm:   

I will point out something that no one else has touched on yet. Pulling your child out and saying he is sick will send a wrong message to your son. I would tell him what is going on and why he can not go the entire week. He may or may not learn more with you on the trip....I would guess that he would. However, explaining the situation and doing the right thing will teach him one of lifes more important lessons. If I were you I would take a trip to school and explain to his principal and teacher why you are taking him out on Thurs.? and Fri.? Explain to them why you are doing it (bonding, tradition, and rewarding good grades) and them ask them to respect your reasoning. Maybe it might even be a good idea to bring your son with you when you talk to them.
Posted on Tuesday, October 26, 2004 - 2:32 pm:   

I think birdman nmakes agood point..I too kmy son out of school for an out of town trip when he was a littel older than your son..the principal said he thought my son would learn a lot more with me for a week in canada than he would in school and approved the absence and the trip...have fun.
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 9:50 am:   

Well I made it back safely. We worked it out so that Zach, my son came up to the mountains last Thursday morning. We sat up camp and I drove him around to all the places my dad use to take me. It was great. Friday more of the group made thier way to camp. One of the of guys I work when brought his son as well. Them two boys fished allday Friday. Zach caught his first Rainbow, about 9-10 in long. (Pictures to come) Saturday morning was cold , but not unbearable. For those of you who know where I'm talking about , we were hunting the powerline just above the Staunton Dam Res.At a little after 8:00 a Doe came by us at about 25 yds. I looked down at Zach and he was fast asleep. I had to take my foot and shake him. I told him to get up slowly , that a doe was in front of us. He got up , but said he could not see the deer. I bent down to his eye level .No deer in sight .The whole time the deer is looking right at us . I finaly was able to get him up on a stump , but by this time the deer had moved about 20 more yds out. Zach fired a round at the deer. The moved on over the ridge where another member of our hunting party was. He said she looked fine. I was worried He might have hit her,only hurting her. Okay that was the first hunt. Saturday evening We are hunting the first feeding ground on Hanky Mountain. At about 2:30 two Does come in behind us, I got Zach up AGAIN!!. (must be the mountain air that knocks him out ).One of the Doe's came in at 17-20 yds brodside.She just stand there looking at us. Zach fired a good shot . The doe went up hill I could hear her moving around up there .We waited about 20 minutes and moved up the hill to where the deer was standing. Nothing , no hair , blood. Looked all over found nothing. Zach had to leave Sunday morning to head back home( Very sad and heart breaking time for him and I). My friend and I went back up the the area where Zach had shoot the deer we found four drops of blood , but nothing else. We looked the whole ridge over, but never found the deer. I have been going up to this place (hankey mountain)for 34 years. After the losing my daddy it kind of lost it's meaning. It's back!!. When Zach left on Sunday his head was down and all I could see was his buttom lip shaking as he said goodbye. Come on Nov 2005!! (Question for yall, Should I tell Zach he missed the deer, or tell him he hit , but we could not find it. I just don't want him thinking he has hurt an animal and did'nt kill it.
Thanks to all for your in put and thoughts.
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 11:32 am:   

How old is Zach?
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 1:24 pm:   

That's a tough situation, but I would lean toward telling him the truth....it's important to "keep it real."
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 3:04 pm:   

Tell him he hit it.. then explain you made every effort to find it for him.. He needs to learn that this is part of the sport at some time, might as well learn it now.. and like Neil said better to be truthful with him..

Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 3:09 pm:   

Tim, you are facing another tough decision. Truth of the matter is, we are hunters. Killing is part of the experience, as is missing, as is the hopefully rare instance when you know you've hit game and cannot locate it. It's a truely gut wrenching experience if you care at all about the game you hunt. But, it is still part of the experience. I know as a parent I try to keep all the worlds woes away from my child. I think this is just the parental nature. However, I think he needs to understand and respect the situation that has happened. Hopefully we learn something from every outing. It ok that he is going to be sad. I'm sad for the both of you and the animal. Will I still hunt? Yes and hopefully so will the both of you with a renewed sense of responsibility.
Posted on Thursday, November 18, 2004 - 4:59 pm:   

Turk, Zach is 10 and 1/2. I told him today that he hit the deer and we were unable to find her. He asked me what will happen to it. I told him a number of things might happen anything from the deer might have only been hit a little and would be fine, to the deer might have been hit badly and would die. But that it was okay, he had done nothing wrong. This is part of hunter. I told him if the deer did die other animals would be helped becuase they could feed on her to help them though the winter. Thanks for all the input. Yall are a great group of web friends

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