Western Hunter Magazine July/August 2019 #70 - Page 77

PREDATOR HUNTING FRED EICHLER, HUNTING EDITOR The boys also learned to help after the harvest. Helping to skin and process is all part of it. Whether hunting or trapping, when the boys were young and the weather was nice, Fred always tried to keep them involved. So what if they may have to hike three miles in the dark up a ridge at 9,000 feet to watch the sun come up while listening for a bull to bugle, an- nouncing his presence to all within earshot. And who wouldn’t want to help me drag duck decoys through the water with sleet pounding their face, all to huddle in the dark waiting for that first duck to come in with cupped wings. Or why would any- one not want to go hiking a few miles across the prairie with a predator call in freezing temperatures to make multiple sets, just hoping for that one coy- ote to get fooled into running in. Fred’s dad (grandpa) joining in the celebration of one of the boys’ first deer harvests. info@westernhunter.net In my mind, I couldn’t even fathom someone not wanting to get up at 4 a.m. to hike into the woods and set up a turkey decoy in hope that a gobbler would come into range because of my plaintive yelps and stationary decoy. Like most outdoorsmen I know, I had seen all these amazing things, but oftentimes they were over years and after many failed attempts. That’s when amazing sunrises, sunsets, and sometimes some- thing as simple as a hummingbird made the whole trip a success. But how could I convince three young boys to break away from video games, TV, and all the other distractions to experience what I wanted so desper- ately for them to appreciate. I know I often forget all the times I went home empty-handed or without ever even seeing the mammal, bird, or fish I origi- nally went after. Still, I always had a great time. Starting them out young and making it fun. Trent and his first frog. Most of us come to realize that the reward is worth all the work and all the failed attempts to sometimes see something as beautiful as a gobbler in full strut with sun shining on iridescent feathers; Seth and his first archery elk. The boys learned to be proficient with all types of weapons. WESTERN HUNTER 77