Growing up a hunter, I started small. My dad first took me hunting when I was big enough to keep up for pheasant, rabbits, and squirrels, but my part was usually little more than a game bag, hauling that days kill home to mom. But the outdoor seed had been planted and it was now growing like a weed. So when I got to go on my first squirrel hunt, I could hardly wait. My dad and I went to an old family haunt known as Locust Grove known for its deer, grey and fox squirrels.
Looking back, I think I only managed to drop one bushy tail that day and it took a little trick. We were on the move to a new location and chased a squirrel up a tree. We had him cornered, but each time we would move to the side of the tree on which he was hiding, he would cleverly slip to the opposite side. So my dad showed me a trick that I have since used on countless occasions. He took off his jacket and swung it around the tree. When the squirrel moved away from the jacket, he came back to us, offering a shot.
This simple trick has stuck with me through the years but even more so was the memory of the hunt and time spent with my dad in the outdoors.