A Hunting Trip with My Dad Part 1

2 Feb

A Slice of LIfe

Bill Lites

I grew up at a time, and in a place (the southwest), where hunting was a given.  My folks, having been survivors of the Great Depression era, were hunters out of necessity, so it was only natural that I would grow up to be a hunter too.  Our family needed the meat from their annual deer and antelope hunts to supplement their meager income.  In addition to the yearly deer or antelope hunts, my dad would usually hunt wild turkeys or some type of game birds, when his work schedule permitted.

Photo Credit: Bill Lites

When I was younger my dad had taken me on fishing trips in the New Mexico Mountain streams.  I loved the outdoors, the camping out with my dad, the thrill of catching those fighting fish, and then eating the delicious Rainbow Trout he would cook over an open fire that night.  

As I grew older, my dad taught me how to shoot his deer rifle and how best to stalk white-tailed deer, antelope, and wild turkeys (he made his own turkey callers out of certain turkey bones and taught me how to use them to call the turkeys).

Photo Credit: //www.arkansasonline.com/news/turkey-hunt/

Every year my dad and mother would buy a New Mexico resident deer license ($5.00 each) that was good for any area in the state open to deer hunting.  Many of the farmers and ranchers in our area had to deal with free-range white-tailed deer and antelope roaming their area feeding on their crops. 

Most years there was some place in the state where the farmers were being over-run by white-tail deer and ask the state for help.  The state would issue a ‘Special Deer Tag’ which allowed the licensed hunter to take an additional buck or doe in that designed area.  

Sample Deer License Photo Credit: https://new-mexico-hunting-fishing-licenses

My mother was a good hunter and went with my dad as often as she could.  However, because my sister and I were still in school, she ended up being a stay-at-home mom, and wasn’t able to go hunting with my dad as often as she would have liked.

Photo Credit:Bill Lites

The year I was 14, we bought one regular license for my dad, one for my mom, and one for me ($7.50 each by 1954), and one ‘Special Deer Tag’ for each of us.  We were set for a possible 6-deer taking for the year of hunting.  That was the year my dad took me on my first deer hunt in the northern mountains of New Mexico.  To say I was excited, about the prospects of that first deer hunt, would be what I would call an understatement.  I could hardly wait.

Sample “Special” Deer Tag Photo Credit: https://new-mexico-hunting-fishing-licenses/

As it happened, that year, my mother had started a new job and wasn’t able to go with us.  So, I used my mother’s Remington 30-30 caliber pump-action rifle.  It was lighter and I felt more comfortable using it than I did my dad’s converted 30-06 sport rifle.  Besides that, I could fire 3-shots with the pump-action rifle to every one-shot dad could fire with his bolt-action rifle.  I saw that as an advantage, he didn’t.

My dad was the State Sunday School Secretary for New Mexico, and traveled a lot, setting up and monitoring Sunday Schools at churches around the state.  He had made a lot of deer hunting friends in most areas of the state over the years.  So, when deer hunting season rolled around, our family was almost always invited to stay at a pastor’s home, in the mountains, somewhere in the state where deer hunting was allowed.  If an invitation did not come, dad always knew of a good mountain area where we could pitch our tent, and rough it, while we hunted.


—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 64 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

One Response to “A Hunting Trip with My Dad Part 1”

  1. divoran09 February 2, 2022 at 3:54 pm #

    Very well done.


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