Insert Note from Dad:
My son, Connor, wrote the following short story for his 6th grade English class. The story was supposed to be about one of his favorite outdoor experiences. He wrote about a time we traveled to a little country town a couple hunting seasons ago close to the panhandle of Oklahoma where my good friend, Kyle Locke, has family land. The picture attached to this V-Dog Blog post is of my son taking from my buddies WPG the first ever duck he shot brought to his hand from the trip described in this short story.
My wife and I did not even know Connor wrote this short story for his English class until it came home in his bag with a grade on it. It certainly moved me emotionally that this was the outdoor experience he chose to write about. It also left me contemplating the last several years of hunting and fishing of my life, and the memories my kids and I have created together with our versatile hunting dogs. It also left me pondering the hunting and fishing memories I have with my own dad who passed away a year ago this month. I have many shared memories from decades ago now to look back on fondly from trips my dad took my brother and I on with our dog, a field trial bred German Shorthair named Admiral. That dog is now a legend in our minds.
My friend, Kyle, and I have been taking our kids duck hunting since they were 3 years old. Truth be told, it was not always easy, and those early hunts in the sometimes-bitter cold didn’t always last as long as the men of the group hoped for with such young children, but our patience seems to be paying off. My son is now hooked on hunting and fishing, and my younger daughter is eagerly awaiting her own shotgun. I sincerely hope you enjoy reading Connor’s short story below as much as I did. This story, and stories like it, are a big part of why we work so hard, and spend so much time, attempting to breed and raise the best v-dogs possible; to share memories with them in the field with friends and family. And, to provide others with dogs that they also might have similar experiences with their own families and friends. Remember the wise ole saying, “At the end of life, it will be better to have stockpiled more memories than possessions.”
Favorite Day Outside
Written: January 3rd of 2022
11 Years Old
We are going to the panhandle of Oklahoma for a few days of outdoor fun. I am going with my dad, his friend, and my friend’s dad. We are going fishing and duck hunting at my friend’s family land. I just got my first shotgun, and I am ready to use it. We are at my house getting ready to go on a three-hour road trip. My dog gets to ride with me in the truck all the way there. We are staying at my friend’s family’s house. We finally got to the town we are staying in. We ate at a Mexican restaurant and then we went to bed early, so that we would be ready to go duck hunting in the morning.
As I wake up to my alarm, I can feel the excitement in the air. I get out of bed and eat a quick breakfast and then we are on the road. We get our blind and shotguns ready to shoot some ducks. We waited for twenty minutes for shooting time. I hear them quacking as they cup their wings ready to land. I reach over to get my gun. I shot three times and all the ducks flew off. There were a ton of feathers on the water from me hitting ducks. I knew that there would be more ducks. I knew there would be another chance. I can see hundreds of ducks coming right for us. They disappeared behind the huge cedar tree above us. I knew they did not leave though. I could hear them circling above us. They sounded like fifty missiles that were flying around wanting to land. And then, I could see that they were coming right for us again.
My dad said, “They are coming right for us.”
I replied, “I’m ready.”
I get my gun and shoot twice. I hear other people shooting. After everybody shot, it looked like the sky was falling. Ducks were falling into the water everywhere. I knew which two I shot though. I was so excited. I shot two green-winged teal.
My dad said, “nice shot.”
“Thanks,” I replied.
The next morning, we are going fishing at a pond on our friend’s family’s land. At this pond, there have been bass that have been caught that were ten pounds. Which is a swimming giant to me. There have been forty-pound catfish caught, too. When we got to the pond, the pond had a dam the size of the great wall of China. When I climbed up the dam, it was like climbing a mountain. When I got to the top, I was so out of breath. When I saw the water, it was clear as though looking through brand new glass. I walked down to the water’s edge. I had a topwater lure. When the lure hit the water, a three-pound bass snatched it right off the water. On the next cast, a bass that was eight pounds got the lure. After a huge fight, I reeled the bass in. I was thankful to catch a bass like that one.
As I look back, I want to thank my family and friends for the opportunity to do things like this outside. I’m glad that my parents got me a shotgun. I am also glad to have people that will take me on fun hunting and fishing trips. I have my first two ducks mounted on a wall in my room. I am so grateful to have family to do things outside with me.