As i wake up from a long night, I’m was the only one in my home. “Dad! Mom!” No answer. Looking around the house I find a note on the dining room table. It says, “We will be back, son. Happy birthday!"
A curious hour passes, FINALLY a door shuts outside, make that two; mom and dad come inside the house.
“Wyatt, come here son,” says my father. As I walk towards him into the kitchen, he holds up a piece of paper. He hands me the paper and tells me, “Happy birthday, Bubba”. As I skim through the hundreds of words on the paper, the title says, “New Zealand Hunting Exploration”. It is a document stating that I have won a trip for two to New Zealand to kill a red stag.
Two weeks later, I see load a plane in New York City! The 12 hour trip feels as if I am on the plane for days! Finally, I step off the plane and am suddenly in New Zealand! A sportsman outfitter was waiting on us with a cardboard sign. On it was written, “Wyatt Morton and Jason Morton”. We load our suitcases into the lifted truck, I find myself sitting in the back seat, asking why we are only going 40 kph, The sportsman says that the speed limit in New Zealand is always 40 kph, no matter where you go.
We get to the hunting ranch and settle into our lodge. It is already 10pm here! We left the airport at 5 am in America! So, we go to sleep and wake up at 6am the following morning to go hunting. We start hiking the mountains, and we see more sheep than anything else. We have only hiked about 1000 feet, and we are already out of breath because of the altitude. We don't have any luck that day.
The next morning is our last day to fill our red stag hunting tag, I can’t sleep that night because I am so worried that I wouldn't kill a red stag, the one animal I had always wanted to kill ever since I first started hunting.
Finally, it’s 6am, my dad's alarm is screaming, saying wake up, I raced into his room, already having my camouflage on me. He made coffee every morning, our outfitter had woke up right after my dad did. After we were dressed,packed, and ready to go, we loaded the truck, excited to see if I will kill a red stag.
After 30 minutes of driving, we pull up to the mountains, we walked about 500 ft high before we seen a head of stags, they had spotted us before I could get a shot, they ran on the other side of the mountains. We slowly creeped over the peak, and there he was, a bull (a male red stag). I had pulled out my shooting stick out of my hunting back pack, set my gun on there so I could shoot, it took about 5 minutes for me to get calm enough so I could get a fatal shot. He was about 300 ft away, finally, i squeeze the trigger, BOOM, the gunshot echoes through the mountains, the smoke is clearing from the gunshot, I see a red stag on the ground, bullseye, I try to jump, but i remember that i'm on a mountain, so that’s not a good idea.
We start hiking towards the dead animal, as I walk up on it, I didn’t realize how massive this stag was?! I took pictures FOREVER, we cleaned him, skinned him, and carried him to the truck.
We went to this place in the city, and got him frozen with nitrogen until we got to America so I could get him to the taxidermist to be mounted on my wall. When I got home, me and dad immediately tell my mother how it went and what it was like. It was one of the most fun times of my life, and I got to check something off of my bucket list.