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It was an early morning. My little sister, Jessica just woke me up telling me that she heard a noise in the garage. It was a loud bang.
“Matt…Matt wake up! I think someone is trying to break in.”
I grabbed the bat that I always keep behind my door just in case something like this ever happens. I headed downstairs. I opened the garage door and it was just my dad. The fear that had come over me was gone and I was now a lot more comfortable with myself knowing everything was safe.
“Oh, hi dad you scared me making all of that noise.”
“Sorry about that, but hey look here.”
I go to the bed of his truck and looked in.
“That is huge dad. What is it? A deer?”
“No, it’s an elk. It’s like a deer but elk tend to get bigger. This is the biggest one so far ever caught in Mississippi.”
“What’s going to happen? Do you win something?”
“I get to show it off in a hunter’s magazine. Pretty cool huh?”
“Yeah dad…that is awesome. Well I am going back to bed.”
I am not really a big hunter like my father. It seems like he is always bringing a new animal home to us. I never really liked it because I am not really patient enough for it. I am also scared. Well that is the biggest reason. I am afraid I am going to be out in the woods and a bear or moose is going to attack me. A lot of kids at school go hunting with their dads. Today when I go to school I am going to tell people I went hunting with my dad and see what everyone says. I don’t want people to know I’m scared. Our town is all about hunting and if anyone ever finds out that I am scared then I will be the laughing stock of the whole town. Maybe even the whole entire state of Mississippi!
“Hey Brian, Chad, Nicole. What did you three do this weekend?”
“Well I went hunting with my mom and she nailed a deer. First try. It was awesome,” says Brian.
“I went hunting this weekend too.”
“You don’t hunt,” says, Chad.
“This weekend I did.”
“Oh yeah, Matt. What did you kill?”
“I didn’t kill anything. My dad did.”
“Matt, we all know you’re too scared, you don’t have to lie to us all.”
“I’m not scared. It was an elk. A big one. Biggest one ever caught in Mississippi.”
“Yeah right, says Nicole. “My dad always catches the biggest and best one.”
“Well, Matt, was it a doe or a buck?”
“Umm… a buck, I said peculiarly.”
“How many points was it?”
“Points? I don’t know what points are you guys.”
“You are not a real hunter then. You lie.”
“I’ll prove it to you guys. Next Monday when I come in you guys will all see.”
The bell rang and everyone went to class. I was screwed. I didn’t know the first thing of playing duck hunt on the Super Nintendo. Never mind actually hunting. I can’t come in without proof. They will know that I am lying and find out that I really am scared.
When the bell rang at the end of the day, I ran home to talk to my dad about hunting. I ran all the way there and guess what? He was hunting. My mom had just got home from work. She hunts too and it might be easier to talk to her first.
“Hey, Matt. How was school?”
“It was alright…. Hey mom can you teach me something?”
“Yeah, what is it?”
“Well see, everyone at school thinks I am scared to hunt.”
“Well it’s ok to be scared.”
“Well I want to hunt mom. Think dad will bring me this weekend?”
“Yeah, I bet he will bring you anytime that you want.”
After mother said that I ran to the garage. I had some old hunting equipment from when my dad had wanted me to hunt. It had been worn maybe twice. I tried on all of the gear and everything was good. My gun is locked in my dad’s safe. As I was trying everything on the garage door starts opening. Good thing I had all the hunting cloths on or they would have seen me naked. I felt relieved to be wearing the gear but sill at the same time because my dad was probably wondering why I was wearing all of that gear in the first place since I never hunt.
“Hey there Matt. What are you doing wearing all that stuff?”
“Well dad, you see I want to go hunting sometime soon.”
“Well let’s go now then. You have all of your gear on anyways. Why take it all off?”
My dad seems more excited than me. Well really I am not excited at all. I am nervous.
“That was quick. You grab my gun too?”
“Yes Matthew. Don’t get too anxious now. You might not even get a chance to use it this year.
“You have to let the animals come to you.”
Mom packs us some food to eat on the way.
“Where are we going anyways?”
“The spot I am about to bring you to has never failed me lets just say that.”
We are in the woods now. I am shaking, not because it is below freezing but because I am nervous.
“Shhh. Matt you stay in this tree stand and I am going over to that one over there okay?”
Before I even got to say anything he was already down the tree stand I was on and up on his. No talking now. I can’t yell across to him. I would scare all of the animals. We sat waiting patiently. I got spooked a couple of times. I thought maybe a bear was going to jump out of the tree at me but it was just a bird. I started to hear something. It’s walking at a standard pace. I bring up my gun. I start looking around. I waited for my dad to make eye contact with me for approval to shoot. I look closer. My dad isn’t moving at all. I take out a pair of binoculars. My dad is passed out in the tree. I let the safety off of the gun. I lifted it and was ready to snag my first animal. The movement stopped. It was a huge moose. It had horns or what ever they are called. It was pretty much right in front of me. I got to blast him and as I do apparently someone else did too. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the other hunter pointing at the moose and also blasted him.
“Damn it!” I screamed out loud.
The other man didn’t even notice I was sitting up here waiting to catch something, anything just to prove to my classmates at school. My dad is a heavy sleeper. He didn’t even budge when that muzzleloader went off and threw the moose. The man leaves and the moose is just lying there dead. I am confused. He just shot it and left it? All of a sudden I started to hear something like a chain saw or maybe even a dirt bike. After it got closer I knew exactly what it was. The man came back with a four-wheeler. I get down from the tree stand and go up to help him. When I got closer I can only remember picking myself up off the ground.
“I am so sorry. You scared me and that was my first reaction the man says.”
“It’s okay. It was a mistake and I kind of should have known not to walk up behind someone like that, especially in the woods.”
“Where did you come from anyways young man?”
“Well you see sir.”
“Call me Jon.”
“Okay, Jon. Well this is actually my first time hunting and you see that tree stand right up there?”
“Well I was sitting up there waiting for a deer, a bear , moose, ANYTHING to come by and when something did you shot him. Then I decided to come help you cause it looked heavy.”
“Well I am sorry young man. I’ll stay away from here for now on how’s that sound?”
I was thinking to myself it sounds good but it would have been better if he thought of that before he came out here and shot MY moose.
“I told him no harm done.”
The man left. I climbed up to the tree stand. Deffinatly nothing coming around tonight after all the ruckus between the gun and the four-wheeler. I grabbed a piece of bark off the tree and threw it at my dad. It took a couple of tries. He woke up and the sun was going down.
“Ready to go Matt?” he yelled.
I guess it doesn’t matter anymore at this point if anyone yells. I started to head down my tree stand. All I heard was dad yelling for me to go back up to my stand. I go back up to look at his stand from mine. There are five bears all walking around like they were taking their territory. They started climbing both of our stands. My dad has a bow and I have a gun. He shot one of them with an arrow but it didn’t do much besides make them mad.
“Matt shoot ‘em! Shoot ‘em!
I was scared. I didn’t want to miss and look like a fool. I also didn’t want dad to get hurt. I lifted the gun and shot. One bear ran away but the other four just turned around and came over to where I was. They were trying to climb the tree. I shot another one right between the eyes. Two down, three to go. I was surprised the bears didn’t run away the first time I fired a shot. You think they all would have got scared and ran away. They must have to be hungry or something has to be wrong. I went to shoot another one but my gun jammed this time. The bear got close enough to swing a paw at my face just missing me by inches maybe even centimeters. By some miracle I pulled the trigger again and this time the gun fired putting a bullet right into the bear’s skull. As I shot him the kick back from the gun made me fly out of the tree stand and land right on the ground. It wasn’t that big of a fall because the stand was maybe only six feet off the ground. I just started shooting at this point as each bear got closer to me. I got another one but this time it was just wounded and it ran away. There was one more looking right at me. I go to shoot but nothing came out.
“I’m out of ammo dad! HELP!”
The bear came right up to me and stood up over me. I closed my eyes and the nothing. I opened them and my dad had shot the bear right in the head. I got up off the ground and there were four dead bears and a bunch of blood. One had got away.
“That was crazy huh dad?”
“Never had an experience like that before son.”
I told him to take the digital camera out. I wanted a picture to prove to all of my friends at school. We dragged the bears all together and I stood while they were laying on the ground.
“The picture looks awesome!”
“Ahh dad what are we going to do with the dead bears?”
“Let’s go get the truck son. I want to take them all home. How about you?”
“Hell yeah. I want to mount one.”
“This is going to be such a good story to tell my friends at school tomorrow. Thanks dad for bringing me. I’m not scared of anything now.”
“Matt, I thought you were scared of fish?”
“Well maybe not anything….”