Bob Hodge: Young hunter learns valuable lesson on persistence – Knoxville News Sentinel

Charlie Hobson had plans on shooting his first deer this past week, but he has bigger plans than that.

Hobson, 13, got his deer in Loudon County on Thursday. A day earlier he had pulled the trigger on the first deer of his life and watched it run off through the woods totally unscathed.

Both shots are recorded for posterity.

For those of us of a certain age, the memories of our first deer, hits and misses, are just that, memories.

Maybe there’s a picture or two tucked away somewhere that was taken with an old Polaroid. The picture of my first deer was taken with a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, a camera little more than a generation removed from those that took pictures during the Civil War.

Charlie Hobson’s deer? He recorded it all on a GoPro he was wearing like a headlamp over his orange toboggan. When he gets as old as me he won’t have to worry about having a clear memory, he’ll just pop a disk or a card or whatever it is that will be popped into whatever you pop stuff in about a half-century from now and watch it.

But that’s where those plans bigger than just bagging a deer come in.

“They (Charlie and hunting pal Jackson Bennett) want to start a junior hunting show and get it on YouTube or even the Outdoor Channel,” said Hunter Hobson, Charlie’s dad. “It would be about kids going hunting or fishing and they would film it…they would do something different every weekend and that would be the show.”

The elder Hobson figures his son is off to a pretty good start.

While Thursday may have resulted in his first deer, Charlie has already developed into a much better than average 13-year old fisherman. Thanks to technology that’s turned telephones into TV-quality video cameras, it doesn’t take a lot for hunters and their friends to turn themselves into producers and directors.

Even if they are on the young side of adolescents.

“He’s been talking about doing something like that for a while,” Hunter Hobson said. “I’m guessing that this first deer will end up on Facebook or YouTube or somewhere.”

But on his way to that first deer, he had to put that memory of that first shot out of his mind. Hunting with Jackson’s dad Robert Bennett on Thursday, he got some sage advice on how to (a) put the miss behind him and (b) not get as excited when the second deer was coming into range.

“He was completely disappointed that he had missed his first shot after hunting for two years,” his dad said. “But he just had to stay positive and hoped he would get another chance.”

The 65-acre piece of property he was hunting had plenty of deer sign, which was one reason to stay positive. And as it turned out there are also plenty of deer to go with the sign.

On Thursday he got the second chance at a doe that worked its way in to just over 60 yards.

“Robert kept telling him, ‘Imagine it’s a goat, imagine it’s a goat,’ and take deep breaths,” Charlie’s dad said. The deer he missed the day before made the getaway because during the excitement Charlie raised his head up.

“Yeah, Robert told him to take deep breaths and to keep looking through the scope.”

The deep breaths and looking through the scope worked. The result was a doe that field dressed 87 pounds and is likely coming to a computer screen near you in the not-too-distant future.

Private Lands Hunt: While deer season ends this afternoon in much of the state, hunters get five more days to hunt in Unit L beginning Monday.

The hunt, which runs through Friday, is open for private land only and is for antlerless deer only. That means land you own or lease or have permission to be on is legal, but public land and wildlife management areas are closed.

Unit L deer hunting counties include Bedford, Benton, Cannon, Carroll, Cheatham, Chester, Coffee, Davidson, Decatur, Dickson, Dyer, Fayette, Franklin, Gibson, Giles, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Hickman, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Lewis, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Marshall, Maury, McNairy, Montgomery, Moore, Obion, Perry, Robertson, Rutherford, Shelby, Smith, Stewart, Sumner, Tipton, Trousdale, Wayne, Weakley, Williamson, and Wilson.

The second Young Sportsman Hunt will conclude all deer hunting in the state on Jan. 14-15.

Bob Hodge is a freelance contributor.

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