I was not even ready to load my gun when my middle stepson, Spencer, whispered, “I see a deer!”
“No you don’t, it’s too early,” I quietly replied. “You’re just excited.”

Young deer hunter Spencer Dietrich has learned early that any deer is a trophy.

Young deer hunter Spencer Dietrich has learned early that any deer is a trophy.

This was Spencer’s first morning to actually be a deer hunter. He has accompanied me several times as an apprentice hunter, but today he was packing a loaded 20-gauge slug-gun and wearing his orange cap and vest proudly.

He had successfully completed his Hunter’s Safety Course and had logged many hours on the range.

He was ready and very willing to take the next step to becoming “A Deer Hunter.”

I finally got my spot ready and settled back against the big maple tree in this west-central Illinois, Mississippi River bottom. On this hunt Spencer was the guest of John and Sue Caldwell in Hancock County, Ill. John had placed us on his hottest crossing, hoping that our young hunter would see plenty of deer, and possibly harvest one.

Once again, Spencer demanded, “There is a doe in that bean field. I can see her.”

I took my binoculars and scanned the 8-acres to fully satisfy Spencer that it was void of deer.

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