Many families are hitting the woods this week as gun-buck season kicks off. It’s an activity that is steeped deep in tradition in the mountain state. We caught up with one father and son who say to them, hunting is much more than just a sport.
Scott Bird was 6 years old when he started hunting with his family.
“It was a time that we all spent together,” said Scott. “That was probably the best of my childhood memories. That was something that I always looked forward to.”
Now he looks forward to creating those memories with his son.
“This was a Christmas present I got for Matthew,” Scott said. “It’s a Thompson Center Venture.”
“It’s really easy to shoot and it doesn’t have much kick so that’s good for kids,” Matthew said. “I think sometimes speaking from experience, you will get scared of the gun if it kicks back too hard.”
Now the next generation of Scott’s family is getting to learn about the sport.
“Doing the scouting, he is starting to show me things that I showed him,” Scott exclaimed. “The deer sign, I know he is catching on.”
“When deer get their horns, they have sort of a velvety texture to them so they rub the trees with their antlers to get all of the velvety stuff off,” said Scott.
But the most important lesson this dad is teaching his son is about hunting and gun safety.
“At home we always treat it like it’s loaded,” Matthew said. “In the event that it is, no one gets hurt. So we always point it down, never look down the barrel, never point it at you and never play around with it because guns are not toys.”
“I think especially now with all of the violent video games that now it becomes a game,” Scott added. “Matthew has seen what this weapon will do. So, I think it’s a little more real to him than someone who has never handled a gun.”
Scott says he wants his son to grow up enjoying the experience surrounding the hunt as much as he did.
“If I take my son, I will take my blind and we will hunt out of it,” Scott said.
“He would let me play on the iPad and we also had a heater so we would stay warm,” Matthew said. “I would fall asleep and he would watch for the deer and wake me up whenever he saw one.”
“I think he was about 6 or 7 when he harvested his first deer,” Scott exclaimed. “That was probably the highlight of my hunting career for him to be successful.”
Matthew remembers a more humorous side of the experience.
“My dad bought this trailer thing that you haul deer with,” Matthew chuckled. “He gets it loaded and he starts pulling it up the hill and it collapses.”
“It’s a good story, haha,” laughed Scott.
And now, they can begin creating new stories this season.
“Just getting to spend that time with him, I hope he has some great memories of the woods like I did,” Scott concluded.