December 2, 2020

Deer Hunting, sort of…

Toby Nix orgLast year my son and I went to get our hunter safety cards.

I never had any desire to hunt growing up, but the more I live in the country, and the more I strive to become more self-sufficient, the more I wanted to start hunting.

The two of us finished as much as we could complete of the hunter safety process online. We then signed up for the classroom portion which was held at the Franklin Library.

I was pushing forty years old, so needless to say I was by far the oldest person in the class. My son was one of the older people in the class! There were people younger than me in the lobby, waiting for their children to take the same class my son and I were attending.

It was very much like the scene from the movie “Billy Madison.” I was a grown man sitting in a classroom full of kids. I don’t even think I made the highest score on the test!

I strongly urge anyone out there to go ahead and get all the state requirements to hunt out of the way while young, on the off chance you may have a change of heart later in life.

Our first day of hunting, we met a buddy of mine from work. He was letting us hunt with him on some property in Coweta County. We arrived at his house in the wee hours of the morning, piled into his truck, and off we went to pick up two more guys who would be joining us on our hunt.

Once we arrived at the hunting land, we walked in darkness, toward the sound of a den of howling coyotes, to reach our blind. A den of howling coyotes is an interesting sound to walk toward. The blind my son and I hunted from sat under thick trees at the edge of a wood line.

We were told as the morning sun rose, we would find ourselves at the edge of a large grassy field full of trails the deer liked to frequent.

As we sat in a darkness I had never before seen, and quietness I had never before heard, it dawned on me. I didn’t care if I bagged a deer that day. I didn’t even care if I saw any deer that day. My son had chosen, that day, a Sunday during school year, to wake up at 5 am and come sit with his dad in the woods.

Watching the world come alive for the day, hearing the woods wake up, it was all way more beautiful than I could ever describe with words. The fact that my son, who will in a few years be heading off to college, was sharing this morning with me made it all so much more enjoyable. Mornings like that are why I love being a father.

They are also why I love being from the South. I know people hunt all over the world, but any chance I get to say, “I love being from the South.” I say it.

We did not see any deer that morning. I’m not entirely certain we ever saw any deer at all the few times we were able to go hunting. But I was instantly addicted to it. Whether we got to sit in the woods and watch the sun come up, or sit in the woods and watch the sun go down. There is a peacefulness to it all, a peacefulness that we need to enjoy as much as we possibly can.

I recommend to anyone who has never been hunting to go hunting. If you are as successful a hunter as I am, you don’t even have to bring a rifle with you. Just go out into the woods and watch the world wake up.

Enjoy the excitement you feel when you hear a monster 12 point deer approaching your blind, followed shortly by the disappointment you feel when you realize a squirrel sounds a lot like what you imagine a monster 12 point deer sounds like.

We will land some big deer this year, or maybe we won’t. But I will enjoy every minute of trying.

Toby Nix


  1. Some mornings I sit on my back porch and just watch the morning come alive, nothing better, I stopped hunting as I am getting older (73) but still love the morning sunrise and evening sunset.

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