Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

September is an opportune time to introduce kids with a genuine desire to hunt to the exciting sport.

Story and Photography by Bob Zaiglin

As I walked towards a mesquite-lined stock tank located in the middle of a coastal meadow with my granddaughter McKenzie at my side, mourning doves — mostly in pairs, exploded skyward from the bare, sandy openings in the grazed canopy of Bermuda.  By the time we arrived at our favorite water hole, birds, like fireflies, filled the cloudless sky before making their final approach to the sun-baked clay bank.  It was really exciting to me, and I could only imagine how fired up my nine-year-old hunting partner was as we watched birds perform incredible aerobatic skills, dropping suddenly to the bank for a drink.

Armed with a single breakover barrel .410 without a shell in the barrel for safety purposes, it was hard on this old wingshooter, as I would have had several spent shells at my feet and a few birds by now.  However, this was Mac’s hunt — her first.

Although she had accompanied me on many hunts in the past this time it was her turn to be the shooter.  With the amazing number of birds in the sky her chances of collecting a few looked promising.