By Ainsley Reeve
If you are not a part of my family or do not know them personally, you would probably think that faith and football is the only thing we care about. Although that is a big part of my family’s focus, hunting is pretty close to the top priorities. Pap, my great grandpa, is the true definition of a cowboy. He and his wife owned a ranch in Kerrville, Texas that had a creek in their backyard and several acres of land. With that being said, he spent his whole life working on the land and feeding the animals, therefore he had a few tricks up his sleeve when it came to hunting.
When I was younger, my older brother and I were extremely competitive with each other. We would race to the car in the parking lot, or we would see who could eat the most at supper time. Most of the time he would beat me, but I found something that he could not beat me in. Thanks to Pap, my hunting nickname was Annie Oakley due to my accurate shots. But I would have to say, the shooting came naturally to me, it was being patient and knowing what attracts the deer that Pap helped me out with.
“Paps had spent his whole life working the land and had a few tricks up his sleeve when it came to hunting.”
His first tip for attracting the deer was being quiet. Pap used to tell me, “You have to have a full stomach, so that way your stomach won’t scare away the deer.” With that being said, before every hunting trip, we would go to the store to get a big red and a Snickers bar, and then he would tell the cashier, “That’ll do.”
I got his second tip real quick after I decided to wear my favorite perfume to our hunting trip. We were hiding in a tiny little blind, and he whispered, “Now what on earth are you wearing young lady? Don’t you know they can smell you?” I was so confused on why I couldn’t wear just a tad bit of perfume. While I was figuring it all out, I felt dirt and hay trickle down my body. My great grandpa was rubbing hay and dirt all over me. I asked him what he was doing as he spit in the dirt to make mud to put on my face. After wiping every bit of good smell off of me, he said, “That’ll do. The deer will come now.”
Pap’s third and final tip came after I shot my first deer. After all the celebrations and the pictures with my first deer, I started to walk inside for supper. Pap quickly yelled out, “Where do you think you’re goin’ missy? You better come clean out this deer before the buzzards find it.” I was in shock that I had to touch all the blood and guts of a dead animal, but after really seeing how the body works and learning what organ was what, I found it very interesting. While examining the deer’s organs, Pap says, “Alright, that’s good enough. That’ll do!”
This past year was my first hunting trip without him. Although it was a sad time for me, I made sure to follow all the tips he gave me to have a successful hunting trip. After each step, I found myself saying, “That’ll do.” My hunting experience with my great grandpa is something that brought us close together that only we could share. If it were not for Pap, no part of me would have been interested in hunting, nor would I have found something to beat my brother in. I know he is looking down at me and saying, “That’ll do.”