The joy of the hunt is not all about getting a kill

by Stan Morris e-mail | Twitter

GOOBERTOWN, AR (KAIT) - Early Saturday morning, hunters make their last minute preparations before a big day begins: modern gun season opening day.

Twenty-four hour gas stations and restaurants seem as busy at 5 a.m. as they would if it were noon. At the Jonesboro hilltop Kum & Go, Michael Hughes and his son Max each grab a cup of coffee, a caffeine boost to help them stay alert while sitting quietly for hours in the deer stand.

The two make their way to Goobertown to family hunting land and trek through the fields to one of their stands. Both sit up, with Max on point. If the day goes well enough, both will bag the elusive white-tailed game, but after five hours in the stand, the only four-legged creature seen is a fox.

But this is what deer hunting is all about, says Michael. Patience and understanding that, in his words, "its not called killing." "Its called hunting," said Michael.

Michael adds that for him, the true joy is a family tradition continued. Hughes said his father took him hunting when he was Max's age and their kills were never abundant. But for Michael, he says he will never forget the quality time spent with his dad.

He wants that experience for his son to remember too.

And while the distant sounds of gunshots filled the air, signaling success for some in getting a deer, the Hughes father-and-son team consider their day a success too. They both say that five hours of quality alone time is something they can't find anywhere else quite like they can in a deer stand.

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