My grandfather was the best hunter I have ever met. I haven’t met many hunters but he is an expert, and I don’t think anyone could compare to him. Visiting him for vacations always meant having a lot of meat. Animals like the mule deer, the whitetail deer, and moose are some of the game that grandpa brings home.
My cousins and I are always excited whenever he comes home with them. He would skin them, and then we would roast the meat on fire and enjoy ourselves. We would have cups of juice or beer with us and have a lot of fun while eating meat. The only people who don’t join us are my two cousins, Sharon and Esther. Both were vegetarians. We usually did our best to ignore their ranting.
Unlike so many people who use guns and other firearms to hunt, grandpa didn’t use guns; instead, he uses bow and arrows. He had been an archery enthusiast since he was a kid and he had even participated in some archery competition and gotten trophies.
When we asked him why he preferred bow and arrows to guns, he said he felt close to nature, to the times of the early humans when the world was still sane. He said he always felt powerful whenever he pulled the string of his bow and prepared to fire his arrow.
This latest vacation we had got me excited. I didn’t want to spend the holiday in New York so I told my parents that I would love to go to Colorado and have a vacation with my grandparents. They readily agreed when they found out that my cousins would also be there.
Grandpa and my cousin, Jack who was two years older than me, met me at the airport. On the drive home, I chatted incessantly with Jack and grandpa, talking about the hunting season. Grandpa told me about the new bow and arrow he had made for me since he heard that I would be coming to Colorado.
When I got to the family home where my dad and my uncles had been raised, I couldn’t wait to see the bow and arrow that grandpa had purchased for me. I hugged and kissed grandma and went to the store behind the house where grandpa kept the bows and arrows.
I stared wonderingly at the beautiful and the quiver of arrows resting against the wall. The complete package had my name written on it. I picked up the package and gave grandpa a loving look.
“Look at him,” Jack said. “You would think he knew how to shoot arrows.”
Grandpa laughed while I gave Jack a wicked look. “Well, I am going to practice, and then I will go into the forest, shoot game and bring them home. Take back your words, or you won’t have any taste in any of the animals I bring hone.”
Jack laughed. “I would bet my new PlayStation4 that you will not hit anything.”
I wanted to knock his head. One thing that Jack loved most in the world was his PS4, and he would never joke or play with it unless he were absolutely sure of himself. This made me more determined to train harder and surprise him.
The very next morning, I ignored the swim that everyone had in the lake beside the house and instead went behind the house where there was a spot where grandpa trained with his bow and arrows. There I began my training.
I spent many hours in the place, honing my shooting skills. For the first two hours, I was simply terrible as all the arrows I show completely missed the targets. I was ready to surrender and agree that I would never be any good in archery when I remembered Jack’s leering face. I kept going.
Two more hours later, I was rewarded with my dedication. In between, grandma and one of one female cousin came to check up on me, urging me to have breakfast and lunch but I ignored them. When I got my first target, I went inside to eat and then returned to continue.
For the rest of the day, I managed to hot ten targets out of twenty-five. I was very pleased with myself. Since I had just two more days left to spend in Colorado, I convinced myself that I was ready to go hunting. When Jack heard about my decision, he laughed very hard. He made a bet with grandpa that I would not get anything.
“Just calm down, John,” Grandpa told me. “See it as an adventure okay? When you see an animal you want, place your target on it, steady your hand, breathe in and fire.”
Grandma got me some food to take along. I got some green fatigues to blend myself into the leaves. I also painted my bow and arrows in the same color. I had read somewhere that when a person blends with his or her surrounding, they could easily take down the enemy who would not sense any danger.
I found a spot that I would believe would be great to take wonderful shots, just like grandpa had taught me. I found a vantage point stretched, blending with the grass and I waited. I waited for about two hours, but I didn’t see any of the common animals in the area.
Grandpa had said that patience was a key in being successful in hunting, so I decided to be very patient. My patience was soon rewarded when I saw two moose walking to my line of sight and eating some leaves.
I cannot describe the excitement that I felt when I saw them. I calmed down and pointed my gun at them. I targeted one of them in the head, took a breath like I had learned and prepared to fire. Before I could fire, I felt a sharp pain in my elbow and missed the shot completely.
I checked what had caused the sharp pain and saw that it was a small insect. I angrily crushed the insect and then focused on the animal which was now fleeing. I fired several shots at them, but I couldn’t hit any.
I waited more hours, but they didn’t return. I returned home in frustration to face the ridicule of Jack and my female cousins.