Theory Of "Relatively" Rubbing-Off


I guess she started absorbing “cues” at a young age.

Searching my computer’s photo section, hunting for another story, I never know what’s going to happen. Feeling like I’ve confessed all my past crimes during a brutal interrogation, my nose twitches, catching the faint whiff of something, I mentally “save” certain pictures, developing a theme while connecting the dots, lassoing a story along the way.

Funny how pictures trigger old forgotten memories as time fast-forwards, or reverses, as each new set of proofs is examined. I never really thought about it, but there they were, in full color — pictures of my daughter.


After a few trips of watching me whack a few groundhogs, Samantha tells me she wants to shoot one herself! I never asked her to, she came up with it herself. Of course I said yes, but we’d have to practice shooting first. My groundhog outfit consists of a scoped TC Contender carbine with a .204 Ruger barrel. A good size for her.

For weeks we practiced, and Samantha loved everything about it. She actually got pretty good, too. We were ready. It was August, and the whistlepigs were in a feeding frenzy, fattening up for winter.

Samantha’s first deer!

The Hunt

We parked Big Green, my 1998 Chevy Tahoe, in the shade overlooking a 200-acre soy bean field. With engine off, the radio turned low playing country music, we talked, joked, teased and laughed as we bonded like never before. Samantha had the carbine loaded, hammer down, butt-stock in her lap, barrel sticking out the window. It wasn’t much longer when one appeared. I talked her through the shot as she aimed, cocked the hammer and fired, smoking the groundhog on the spot.

It was a proud moment, as Samantha felt the paradoxical emotion of both joy and sadness all hunters experience after a successful hunt.

I always wanted a mounted groundhog for our Great room so we took “Dexter” to the taxidermist. He now resides on my wife’s wine rack shelf, reminding us of a true rite of passage and a great day shared.

Deer Hunting

Samantha had her fuse lit now, and wanted to add deer hunting to her itinerary. I tell her she will have to take a Hunters Safety Education course — and we take it together, since they didn’t have hunter’s education when I was a kid. It’s an excellent course and one I’ll need, should I hunt out west.

Samantha passes with flying colors, and it was another great weekend of bonding as we studied together for the final exam.

At work at the vet’s office, Samantha is heading toward a new career. Hunting and
shooting helped build her character according to Tank.


Sure, Samantha has taken a few deer, and I couldn’t be prouder. Maybe we’ll go into those stories at a later date? She makes me proud for the wonderful young lady she has become.

She’s finishing up her first year of college as a Pre-Veterinarian major, loves animals of all kinds and is my buddy! She’s managed to get straight A’s so far and works her butt off to accomplish it! I tell her the willingness to work hard will carry her further than anything. She also works at our veterinarian’s office as a technician during semester breaks.

I think being around guns and being a hunter has contributed quite a bit to the person she is. She has the respect — and attitudes — coming from doing both.

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